Victoria Institution

The Victoria Institution is the oldest secondary school in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is a memorial school, so-called because it was partly funded by public subscription intended for the erection of a permanent memorial to commemorate the Golden Jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1887. The establishment of the school was further supported by financial contributions from the Sultan and government of Selangor, prominent Kuala Lumpur residents, and the general public.[1]

Victoria Institution
Jalan Hang Tuah, 55200
TypeAll-boys secondary school
MottoBe yet wiser, to be a scholar, sportsman and a gentleman
Established14 August 1893 (1893-08-14)
PrincipalPuan Nur Elisa Tee Lee Hwa
GradesForms 1–6
Co-educational (Form 6)
Colour(s)  Oxford Blue
  Cambridge Blue
AccreditationHigh Performance School
NewspaperThe Seladang
YearbookThe Victorian
AlumniVictoria Institution Old Boys Association

The school reverted to its original name (instead of SMK Victoria) in February 2009, after being granted approval in recognition of its having been declared part of Malaysia's national heritage.[2]

The Victoria Institution is a secondary school for male students only from Form 1 to 5. Female students are accepted for Form 6 (Lower and Upper). The school is widely known as VI, and a student of the Victoria Institution is known as a Victorian.

Performing well both academically and in sports, the VI is considered one of the best non-residential schools in Malaysia. In 2007, VI was named as a Cluster School of Excellence[3][4] by the then Minister of Malaysian Ministry of Education, Hishamuddin Hussein.

The post-war period

On 13 September 1945, the school was the site of the formal surrender of the 29th Imperial Japanese Army to Lieutenant-General Ouvry Roberts of the 34th Indian Corps.[5]

School buildings

Foundation stone and early years

The school's foundation stone was laid by on 14 August 1893 by Lady Treacher, who was the wife of Selangor Resident at that time; Sir William Hood Treacher. The school was opened on 28 July 1894.[6][7] This original school building is located at Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, right next to the site of present-day  KJ14  SBK16  Pasar Seni LRT/MRT station.

Status of former building after the completion of new building

This building was then used as a premise of the Technical College (now Universiti Teknologi Malaysia)[8] up until the 1950s when the new Technical College building at Jalan Gurney (now Jalan Semarak) was completed and officially opened on the 1 March 1955 by Sir Donald MacGillivray, the then British High Commissioner to Malaya.

After the Technical College had moved out, the old VI building was used as a school again, as High Street School, which in turn moved to Setapak and became known as Setapak High School.[9]

The old VI building was then managed around the 1980s by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall as a cultural centre, known as Taman Budaya, until it was burnt down by a fire in 1999.[10][11] Restoration work was made from 2002 to 2005 by JTK Consult.[12] The department is now run as the National Department For Culture & Arts.[13]

The current building (1929–present)

As the VI's former location was frequently flooded by the nearby Klang River during heavy downpours, the Victoria Institution moved to Jalan Hang Tuah (formerly known as Shaw Road) on 26 March 1929.

The Main Hall at E Block.

The Victoria Institution has a clock tower overlooking two sports pavilions at its façade, and a large field, surrounded by colonial-era trees (yellow flame trees and palms). The VI also has its own 25-meter swimming pool and synthetic track for 100 metres sprint events, making it the only school in the region with these facilities at that time.

Student life

It is a rule that all freshman students are required to join at least one uniform body, take on an active role in one of the school's 50 clubs, and participate in at least one sport. Some students are also in the school’s hostel. Hence, the school's students aren't limited to Kuala Lumpur residents only, but also kids who are from other states. Because the school is in the centre of Kuala Lumpur, most students also hang out at the mall after school ends. Transport is easy too because a Mass Rapid Transit (Malaysia) station, Merdeka, is located right in front of the school's gate. Students also may wear Baju Melayu with the school's special Samping (made for students and which can be bought at the schools' minimart) on Fridays to go to the Friday prayer after school at Al-Bukhari Foundation Mosque located next to the school.

Traditions and heritage

The prefect disciplinary system is very much similar to the traditions first laid out by the school's second headmaster, Major Richard Sidney (VI First Prefects).[14]

Detention classes and community service are still the common penalties for misdemeanours in the VI, while such traditions are no longer in practice in many Malaysian schools.

The VI is also home to the oldest cadet corps in the country, the Victoria Institution Cadet Corps (affiliated with the Malaysian Army and the first to receive Colours in 1960 in honor of the role played in the Second World War[15]), the oldest cadet corps band in the country, the Victoria Institution Cadet Corps Band, and the oldest scout group in the country, the First Kuala Lumpur Scout Troop. The First Kuala Lumpur Scout Troop split into two troops in 1933 thus establishing the First Kuala Lumpur Scout Troop and the Second Kuala Lumpur Scout Troop. The official name of the Second Kuala Lumpur Scout Troop today is the Victoria Scout Group.

The VI has annual events such as the Military Tattoo (performance by marching bands and cadets), Scouts' Campfire (rescue act by senior scouts), Annual Sports Carnival, Speech Days, and Science Fairs. The Victoria Institution is the only school in Malaysia that has its own Edinburgh-styled Military Tattoo.

VI had a daily event for students every day before COVID-19 hit, it was known to students as ‘Lines’[16] where the school’s prefects would shout “LINES!” that would be audible throughout the whole school to check the student's attire to make sure they were perfect. If a student doesn't have complete attire (the school's pin badge, a name tag, or a tie) the student must go to the Prefect Room 30 minutes before ‘Lines’ start to get an ‘Excuse Slip’ so they won't be called to the ‘Back’ of the line. ‘Lines’ start every day at 7:20 am before school starts and at 10:20 am after recess. Each session would be 20 minutes. If a group of students behaved badly, they will be called to the Prefects Room to receive punishment either detention or a warning.

The school also has its own school magazine and school newspaper. The magazine, The Victorian, is published annually for the benefit of the students. The school newspaper, The Seladang (the name derived from the seladang head in the school crest), was first published in 1953 and ceased publication circa 2016.


The VI participates in the Bangsar zone at district level and in the MSSKL (Kuala Lumpur School Sports Council) tournament at the state level. Among the sports that the VI participates in are football, rugby union, cricket, basketball, waterpolo, badminton, archery, Hockey, handball, volleyball, athletics, tennis and table-tennis. VI is the defending champion in football and waterpolo at the state level.

The VI meets the MCKK in football for the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup every year with the venue alternating each year between the two schools. Because of its strong tradition in sports, the VI has produced many Malaysian sportsmen including Mokhtar Dahari, Misbun Sidek, Rashid Sidek, Shahrin Majid, Razif Sidek, Jalani Sidek, Rahman Sidek, Foo Kok Keong, Dr Samani Abdul Ghani and Tan Sri Dr Mani Jegathesan.

The school's cricket ground first witnessed an international match when Ireland played Gibraltar in the 1997 ICC Trophy, which was hosted by Malaysia. Eight matches in that competition were played at the school premises.[17] The ground also played host to three List A fixtures played in the cricket competition at the 1998 Commonwealth Games. These fixtures saw Pakistan play Scotland, Canada played India, and Malaysia play Jamaica.[18]


'Be Yet Wiser; To be a Scholar, Sportsman and a Gentleman'

Strictly, the school has no official motto at all. The first motto is actually that of the school newspaper, "The Seladang", founded in October 1953. It was selected by the first editor, R. Nithiahnanthan, and displayed on its front-page banner under the head of the seladang taken from the school crest. Over time the motto seems to have been hijacked as that of the school. The motto is derived from the Biblical proverb, "Give instruction to a wise man and he will be yet wiser."[19]

"To be a scholar, sportsman and a gentleman" was actually quoted from an interview, in the late 1960s, in the school magazine "The Victorian", with the then headmaster, Mr V. Murugasu, in which the headmaster expressed his belief in what all Victorians should aspire to be.

Over time these two aphorisms seem to have been accepted as school mottos, although there have been no official declarations as such.


There are eight sport houses in the VI.[20] The sports houses compete against each other on sports day. The Victoria Institution Sports Day has been held since 1897, and is widely regarded as a citywide event, with huge crowds converging on the Victoria Institution field in the early days. The houses are named after the founders, benefactors and even supporters of the school. Initially there were ten houses, including two which do not exist today—Nugent Walsh House and Steve Harper House. After the school premises were moved to the present Petaling Hill and the VI became a secondary school, there were only five houses—Shaw, Treacher, Yap Kwan Seng, Hepponstall and Thamboosamy—because of the fewer number of students. However, after the war, with increased demand for education, three new houses were added—Rodger, Davidson and Loke Yew—making the total eight. The present houses are:

  • Thamboosamy, green
  • Lee Kuan Yew (formerly known as Hepponstall, named after the first acting Headmaster of VI), yellow
  • Sultan Abdul Samad (formerly known as Davidson, named after the Infant School supervisor, Elizabeth Davidson), purple
  • Rodger, orange
  • Loke Yew, brown
  • Shaw, red
  • Yap Kwan Seng, light blue
  • Treacher, dark blue


The VI has its rivals, both in Kuala Lumpur and nationally. St. John's Institution and MBSSKL are the VI's traditional regional archrivals for the past 101 years. This rivalry can be observed during sports tournaments between these three schools. Nationally, the VI also enjoys a rivalry with two elite institutions—the Royal Military College, Kuala Lumpur and the Malay College Kuala Kangsar. The rivalry with the former is apparent in football and rugby MSSKL state-level tournaments and the rivalry with the latter is evident in the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup, a football playoff between the premier schools of Kuala Lumpur and Kuala Kangsar, Perak.

Alumni Association

The Alumni Association of the VI is known as the VIOBA (Victoria Institution Old Boys' Association) and was founded in 1922. The games competition between the Current Victorians and the Old Boys is for the Daniel Shield and this tournament is held every year. There is a similar Alumni Association in Singapore, the VIOBA Singapore.

Notable alumni

  • Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Sultan Of Brunei
  • Ismail Mohd Ali, first Governor of Bank Negara Malaysia
  • Ananda Krishnan, businessman and Malaysia's 2nd richest man
  • Francis Yeoh, Managing Director of YTL Corporation
  • Syed Amin Aljeffri, Malaysian entrepreneur
  • Mohamed Hashim bin Mohd Ali, General (Rtd), 9th Commander, Chief of Defence Forces
  • Raja Petra Kamarudin, political activist, founder of the Malaysia Today website
  • S. Rajaratnam, former Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore
  • S. Namasivayam, Singaporean artist
  • Rafidah Aziz, former International Trade and Industry Minister Malaysia
  • Zulhasnan Rafique, former Federal Territories Minister Malaysia
  • Ruben Gnanalingam, CEO Westports Malaysia
  • Wong Phui Nam, Poet
  • Wan Zaleha Radzi, ex-TV newscaster, celebrity, Asian Games (1998) and South-East Asian Games (1995) medallist for Equestrian
  • Kamahl cabaret/easy listening Australian singer and recording artist, famous for The Elephant Song
  • Raja Nong Chik, Federal Territory Minister
  • Ramon Navaratnam, Malaysian economist
  • T. Sachithanandan, pioneering Malaysian anesthesiologist
  • Paul Tan, automotive journalist
  • Shafie Apdal, Minister for Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs; Minister for Unity, Culture, Arts and National Heritage; Minister for Rural and Regional Development; VP, UMNO; Founder of WARISAN; MP for Semporna; Chief Minister and Finance Minister of Sabah, ADUN for Senallang
  • Tommy Thomas, Lawyer, 8th Attorney General of Malaysia .
  • Mahadev Shankar, lawyer and former Court of Appeal Judge
  • Gengadharan Nair, High Court Judge
  • Ridzwan Bakar, cardiologist, former CEO & Chairman Pantai Holdings.
  • Jit Murad, Comedian, Writer, Producer, Theater & TV performer, Co-founder of Instant Cafe Theatre
  • Amir Muhammad (director), writer and filmmaker
  • Sivarasa Rasiah, human rights lawyer and vice-president of the opposition Parti Keadilan Rakyat (People's Justice Party)
  • Omar Yoke Lin Ong, politician and member of the first Malayan Cabinet, the fifth President of the Dewan Negara.
  • Tan Kee Kwong, politician and former member of parliament for Wangsa Maju.
  • Prabowo Subianto Djojohadikusomo, Lt-Gen, Indonesian Armed Forces (R), Defence Minister, Indonesia
  • Datuk Seri Ramachandran s/o Gopal Iyer [Gopal Sri Ram], Judge, Federal Court of Appeal, Prosecutor
  • Chew Wing Foong, former president of the Library Association of Malaysia and former Chairman of CONSAL[21][22]
  • Aidit Alfian, songwriter/producer, winner of TV3's 17th Juara Lagu 2002, Keliru
  • Mohd Zaman Khan, former Director of Police CID & former Director General of Malaysian Prison


  • Mokhtar Dahari, former Malaysian Football International
  • Mani Jegathesan, sports icon, doctor, and researcher and deputy president of Olympic Council of Malaysia.
  • Misbun Sidek, National Badminton Champion and National Badminton Singles Coach
  • Jalani Sidek, All England Badminton Doubles Champions and National Doubles Champions
  • Razif Sidek, All England Badminton Doubles Champions and National Doubles Champions
  • Rashid Sidek, National Badminton Champion
  • K. Reuben, Malaysian footballer
  • Shafiq Sharif, Malaysian National team cricketer
  • Foo Kok Keong, National Badminton Player, former world number 1
  • Lall Singh, former Indian Test cricketer
  • Shahrin Majid, footballer, Malaysian Football International
  • Yap Wai Loon, footballer, Malaysian Football International
  • Sieh Kok Chi, Malaysian Water Polo player, Secretary-General, Olympic Council of Malaysia
  • Hadin Azman, Malaysian footballer, Kuala Lumpur City F.C.
  • Mohd Khairi Zainudin, Malaysian footballer
  • Khiew Hoe Yean, Malaysian Swimmer


  1. "A Concise History of the Victoria Institution, 1893-2002". Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  2. "Victoria Institution gets back its Name". Retrieved 15 August 2019.
  3. "30 sekolah kluster kumpulan pertama diumum".
  5. The Story of a Psy-Warrior: Tan Sri Dr. C.C. Too -
  6. "Sejarah JKKN KL".
  7. "The New VI".
  8. "Sejarah UTM". Archived from the original on 10 August 2015.
  9. "Sejarah JKKN KL".
  10. "Sejarah JKKN".
  11. "VI Old Building".
  12. "Work Done by JTK". Archived from the original on 24 April 2008.
  13. "Sekarah JKKN".
  14. "The First Prefects".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  15. "A History of the V.I.C.C."{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. "Lines".
  17. "ICC Trophy Matches played on the Victoria Institution, Kuala Lumpur". CricketArchive. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  18. "List A Matches played on Victoria Institute, Kuala Lumpur". CricketArchive. Retrieved 6 October 2011.
  19. "The Seladang - the early years".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  20. "The Story of the Houses".{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  21. Chew, Wing Foong (1996). "Changes in Publishing in Southeast Asi" (PDF). Cormosea. 23(2) - 13: 30.
  22. Saad, Badilah; Jaafar, Shahar Banun; Chew, W.F. (21–25 May 1996). "Malaysian libraries for national development: a country report". Tenth Congress of Southeast Asian Libraries (CONSAL X). CiteSeerX

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