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The History of Seremban

Rumah Kediaman Dato' Klana Sungai Ujong Syed Abd. Rahman

The development of Seremban started with the discovery of tin ore in the 1870s just like most major towns in Peninsular Malaysia. The discovery of tin in a nearby area called Rasah, saw an influx of Arab, Malay and Chinese immigrants to work on the mines and trade there. The local Malays also played a very important role towards the development of Seremban. Seremban initially known as Sungai Ujong flourished not only as a mining area but also as a business center. The Linggi River served as the sole outlet to ferry tin and supplies in and out of the town. Revenue came not only from tin trade but also from the large amount of taxes collected, much to the displeasure of traders and British colonialists in the neighbouring port of Malacca.
 
The local chieftains namely, the Dato' Kelana and the Dato' Shahbandar of Sungai Ujong were at odds with each other on the rights to collect taxes and ownership and control of the mines. The rivalry to assert influence and authority, opened the door for British intervention in Negeri Sembilan. The British sided the Dato' Kelana upon invitation and defeated the forces of the Dato' Shahbandar who was later sent to exile in Singapore. In a show of gratitude to the British for helping him win the war, the Dato' Kelana had no choice but to accept a British Resident whose job was to advice him on matters other than religion and Malay customs. Captain Murray was appointed the first resident who later set-up his residence at Channer Road, now renamed Jalan Dato' Siamang Gagap. Soon after, the people living around Rasah moved to Channer Road for security reasons and due to it's orderly administration.  

The Health Board Era
 

Prior to the Japanese Occupation, Seremban was administered by a local authority headed by the Resident, known as the Health Board (1897). It was instituted through a Government Gazette No. 285 dated September 15, 1899 and had very limited powers. It was confined to providing only basic amenities for the Seremban dwellers. After the Second World War, Seremban grew rapidly. Many new changes and development took place forcing the Health Board to face new responsibilities which it could not shoulder.
 

Stesen Bas

The Health Board had to be replaced by the Seremban Town Board (Government Gazette No. 143 dated January 12, 1946) which wielded greater powers.A British officer, LHN Davis became the Board's Chairman while the Seremban District Officer, His Highness Raja Azman Bin Raja Sir Chulan was appointed the Board's Secretary. The Seremban Town Board was the governing authority until 1953, when it was further upgraded and became formally known as the Seremban Town Council.

How Seremban Got Its Name

The above development led to rows of shop houses being built along Murray Road (Jalan Kapitan Tam Yeong), and the other main roads mainly, Birch Road (Jalan Dato' Bandar Tunggal), Paul Street (Jalan Yam Tuan Antah) and Lemon Street (Jalan Tuanku Munawir). These roads were named in honour of the British Residents of the time. Seremban, earlier known as Sungai Ujong is believed to have got its name from a traditional pastime, "Sarimban", whereby small pebbles are thrown into the air and then caught with the back of the palm

Stesen Keretapi Seremban

It was a very popular pastime  amongst the Chinese then, and was often played somewhere near the Seremban Railway Station. When Negeri Sembilan became one of the Federated Malay States in 1896, Seremban was made the capital of Negeri Sembilan. It functioned as the center of administration, trade and agriculture. It was estimated that by the year 1916, Seremban had a population of about 20,000 and new rows of shop houses were built along Cameron Road (Jalan Datuk Lee Fong Yee) and Setul Road (Jalan Tun Dr. Ismail).
 

The Seremban Town Council Era
 

Era Majlis Bandaran Seremban

The Seremban Town Board constitution was abolished by the Malay Rulers through Government Gazette No. 262 dated April 14, 1953. In compliance with Section 51 (1), of the Election Ordinance, Local Government 1950, the first local government election was held on August 22, 1953. Seremban was divided into electoral constituencies namely, Temiang, "Lake" Area, Rahang and Lobak. The administration of the council was in constant flux, very much dependent on the prevailing political condition of Seremban during those time. The table given below lists the names of Chairmen / Presidents the Seremban Town Council from 1953 to July 22, 1965. 

 

 

President of Seremban Municipal Council
Bil.   Nama Tahun
1  YM Tunku Mustapha 1954 -1956
2  En. Jaafar Bin Tahar 1957-1958
3  En. Tham Tat Ming 1959
4  En. Robert Singam 1960
5  En. Lam Teck Choon 1961
6  En. Chin See Yin 1962
7  En. P Gumam Singh Gill 1963 -1964
8  En. Lai Pong Yuen 1965 -22 Julai 1965

 

Restructuring of Local Governments and Authorities in Malaysia

The local government election was eventually abolished on July 23, 1965. The Menteri Besar took over the presidency of the council. However, on March 1, 1979 the Seremban Town Council again experienced a restructuring in accordance with the Local Governments Act 1976. It was upgraded into the status of municipality and proclaimed as the Seremban Municipal Council. The Menteri Besar remained at the helm, but a new post of Deputy President was created to assist him in carrying out a full-time executive role. This was the practice until the Malaysian Cabinet in 1998 decided that the presidency or chairmanship of local governments including the Seremban Municipal Council be handed over to a senior civil servant. Consequently, the then Menteri Besar, Dato' Seri Utama Tan Sri Haji Mohd. Isa Bin Dato' Haji Abdul Samad relinquished the presidency of the council to a civil servant, Dato' Haji Hassan @ Hassani Bin Mohd. Zain

 

Presidents of Seremban Municipal Council

 YAB Dato' Rais Bin Yatim
1978 - 1982
 YAB Dato` Seri Utama Tan Sri Haji Mohd. Isa Bin Dato` Haji Abdul Samad
 1982 - 31st July 1998
 Dato' Haji Hassan @ Hasanni Bin Mohd. Zain
 1st August 1998 -7th July 2003
 Dato' Mohd Jaafar Bin Mohd Atan
 1st August 2003 - 15th August 2004
 Dato' Haji Abd. Halim Bin Abd.Latif
 1st September 2004 - 31st July 2018
Dato' Haji Zazali Bin Salehudin  1st August 2018 -until now
Last Updated: Thursday, 12 December 2019 - 4:31pm