Category: Heritage, Muar History & Story

Muar History: High School Muar

THE Sekolah Tinggi Muar building, located in Jalan Meriam, Muar, was built in 1914, but HSM only took possession of the building in 1915. The history of Sekolah Tinggi Muar, popularly known as High School Muar (HSM), can be traced back to 1902, when it was founded by C.P. Frois, who became the school’s first headmaster in 1904.

He opened an English school in Muar, naming it the Government English School. The school opened as a private school with 40 students at the old market (currently the taxi and bus station) at Jalan Maharani.

In 1905, the school was moved to a government building at Jalan Abdullah, before it once again moved to Jalan Sulaiman in 1907.

In 1910, the school was moved to Tanjung Muar but in 1912, it was back again in its original building until 1915, when the school occupied its current building in Jalan Meriam. Later, the school was taken over by the Government.

In 1928, two additional buildings with eight classrooms were built to cater to the growing number of students.

During the Japanese occupation from 1942 to 1945, HSM became a Japanese school named Nippon Gakka. In 1947, the school for the first time accepted female students from Sultan Abu Bakar School to further their Senior Cambridge studies.

On January 21, 1949, the school hostel was established by the second headmaster, C.A. Scott.

It was the first hostel built in Johor. The school changed its name to Government High School on April 6, 1955. In 1957, Desmond P. Pereira was appointed the headmaster of the school, becoming the first Malayan principal. From 1957 to 1959, the school was used as a centre to train English school teachers and from 1965 to 1967, it was the Regional Training Centre.

In 1965, HSM started Form Six classes, with the first batch of students coming from districts in North Johor and from Muar itself. In 1993, the school was gazetted for restoration and preservation under the Johor Government Heritage Foundation.

In 1997, two blocks were added, which contain the present school hall and surau.

The building was renovated and refurbished in 1998, at a cost of RM1.9 million, to restore and preserve its past glory. Being the premier school in Muar district, HSM has produced many prominent old boys, including Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman (Johor Menteri Besar), Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin (Minister of Local Trade and Consumer Affairs), Datuk Chua Jui Meng (Minister of Health) and Tan Sri Jaafar Hussin (former governor of Bank Negara).

Source: The Malay Mail published in 2002

Category: Heritage, Muar History & Story