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About Kampar

Kampar town, in the state of Perak, Malaysia, was founded in 1887and being part of the Kinta Valley, thrived during the heyday of the tin mining industry. However, with the decline of tin as a commodity, Kampar lost its limelight towards the end of the 20th century. Fast forward to the 21st century, Kampar got the impetus to regain its past glory when on the 21st of May 2009, the Sultan of Perak declared Kampar as the state's 10th district.

Historically, Kampar has etched its name in the annals of Malaya during colonial period. Ngah Jabor, a local, was said to be among the conspirators in the historic assassination of British resident in Perak, JWW Birch in 1876. The other suspects were Dato Maharaja Lela, Datuk Sagor and Si Putum. More recently, Kampar also has its share of war during the Japanese Occupation between 1941 and 1945. From December 30, 1941 to 2 January 1942 the Battle of Kampar occurred. An estimated 3,000 British soldiers defended Kampar against over 6,000 Japanese soldiers. The British Army inflicted serious casualties on the Japanese and only retreated when their flank and rear were threatened by Japanese seaborne landings on the coast south of their position.

As colourful as its past, theories abound as to the origin of the name Kampar. One theory says that Kampar is named after the Kampar River (north of the current township), a name given by immigrants from the Kampar Regency in Riau Province, Sumatra, who used the river to navigate upstream. If this is true, it clearly predates the large-scale mining of tin in Kampar, so it is likely that the Cantonese words "kam pou" were derived from the word Kampar, rather than the other way around. Interestingly, the Kampar Regency in Sumatra was where the first Sultan of Perak (Sultan Mudzaffar Shah) was based before becoming Sultan of Perak in Perak (his highness was a son of the last Sultan of Malacca).

Kampar town can be broadly divided between the 'old town' and 'new town' areas. The old town consists of two main streets - Jalan Gopeng and Jalan Idris – and are lined with charming pre-war shop houses, some still standing proud with their original façade. Commercial activities here centre upon coffee shops, goldsmiths and local retailers. The new town area, as the name suggests, mainly consists of new residential developments and commercial areas strategically placed to serve the ever-growing population as a result of the burgeoning education sector.  

Today, Kampar is reinventing itself as a centre of another precious commodity: human capital. As a soon-to-be mecca of education, it is the location of choice for Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) and Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TARC) to build their main campus. Following in their footstep is the Westlake International School which specialises in teaching the well-known Cambridge International General Certificate of Secondary Education (GSCE) curriculum, which is recognised worldwide. Other institutions said to be setting up school in Kampar soon include the Metropolitan College, UCSI University and our very own Agacia College. It is estimated that once all these establishments are fully operational, they will contribute a combined total of approximately 28,000 people on top of the existing population of Kampar.

With such big number of highly educated population that will only keep expanding, Kampar is set to become another economic generator for the Kinta Valley. And surely Kampar can look forward to a future that is as illustrious as its past.