The Royal Malaysian Police Museum is one of the many interesting Kuala Lumpur museums. It is located at Jalan Perdana, between the National Mosque and Lake Gardens. The museum was opened in 1961 and displays several thousand interesting items related to crime and crime prevention, artifacts and documents.
You will find amazing collection of everything to do with the Malaysian Police, from the sultanate through to the modern day, describing events and displaying the memorabilia. If you want to get an insight into the exciting and often dangerous world of the Royal Malaysian Police, this is definitely a place to go.
This museum serves as a gentle reminder of the last 500 years in Malaysia as seen from the perspective of law enforcement.
Royal Malaysian Police Museum Galleries
The Royal Malaysian Police Museum Kuala Lumpur is divided into three galleries, in chronological order, with arrows showing the route to be taken. All displays are labelled in Bahasa Melayu and English.
The first exhibit begins with uniforms of the police and the guards. Interestingly, shorts were common attire for policemen in the colonial days. As you step into the first gallery, Gallery A, you are taken back to the Malacca Malay Sultanate, circa 1400-1511.
This segment is dominated by a bronze-coloured statue of the Temenggung. Temenggung means ‘great shield’ but this actually refers to the man who performed the duties of Chief of Police and Superintendent of Prisons for the sultan’s court. The statue watches over the display of spears and keris, and the Portuguese coins. The Portuguese were in power from the early 1500s, and Malacca was under military rule for about 130 years until the Dutch took possession in 1641.
The exhibits then proceed from the Dutch era to that of the British, who took over Malacca in 1795. The uniforms of the Dutch colonial armed forces can be seen here. The Straits Settlement police, under the British, were amalgamated in 1825, although their uniform differed from state to state. These are shown in Gallery B. There is also a display of past Inspector General of Police’s (IGP) ceremonial uniforms, medals, and gifts presented from foreign dignitaries.
The weapons gallery here will surely take your attention. Half of the display cabinets show weapons that were confiscated. Many were taken from the Communist terrorists. As well as the run-of-the-mill guns, there were a whole lot of home-made ones used during the Emergency. Some were simple with crudely made wooden handles whereas others were more sophisticated. Among the weapons on display include a Gurkha kukri knife, spears, Malay keris, Portuguese flintlock pistols as well as Dutch cannons, swords and rifles.
Apart from guns, the hardware included pipes and bicycle chains. There were knifes too, obvious ones like penknives as well as blades hidden in walking sticks. There was even a horse whip. The buka lima were presumably used like knuckledusters, pieces of metal with five holes for the digits. Another cabinet had weapons confiscated from the notorious gangster Botak Chin, who was hanged in the 1970s. Botak Chin was a notorious gangster who portrayed himself as a modern-day Robin Hood.
Post World War
History of H.C Syers, the first Commissioner of Police of the Federated Malay States in 1896 is also one on display. Syers and an American naturalist Hornaday, discovered the caves at Batu Caves in 1878. Unfortunately, Syers was killed by a seladang (a wild animal) during a hunting trip in Pahang in July 1897. You can find the preserved head of the gigantic seladang mounted at the top of its entrance.
Then, there are the exhibits of the Japanese era, followed by a display on the Inspector General of Police leading up to present times.
Exhibits in Gallery C are mainly from the post-World War II period. They tell you how the Flying Squad was established in 1948 but had its name changed to the Jungle Squad because the jungle was where they were active. There is even a tank on display. There are various items confiscated from the Communists: a money forging machine, communication equipment such as signalling devices and loud hailers, land mines and bombs as well as medicines, clothes and survival kits. You can also learn about the history of the Japanese surrender in 1945.
The Communist Era
From here, you will enter the Bukit Kepong police station and the tragedy that took place there is revealed. On Feb 23, 1956, 180 Communist terrorists attacked the police station and killed many of the officers, as well as the policewomen and children. The attack lasted four and a half hours and the station was burnt to the ground. Next is a display of prohibited articles such as drugs, equipment for forging, and items relating to gaming and lotteries such as the Chinese game Chap Ji Kee.
The last section covers the present day, with a feature on Bukit Aman, including its religious activities. There is a segment for technical equipment such as radios and cameras. One section is dedicated to women, such as the first policewoman, Miss Wentworth, who served KL in the 1950s.
Outside, you can find tanks, armoured personnel carriers and cannons. There is a garage which houses three limousines used by IGPs. There is also a marine police boat. Have a closer look at two Mercedes Benz cars and a white Volvo parked under a shed. The white Volvo was the official car of Tan Sri Koo Chong Kong, the Perak police chief who was gunned down by communist terrorists in Ipoh on Nov 13, 1975.
A light tan Mercedes Benz also had a bloody past. It was the official car of the third Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Rahman Hashim, who was shot dead by unknown men along Jalan Tun Perak, Kuala Lumpur, on June 7, 1974. The other Mercedes Benz, which was the official car of the fourth Inspector-General of Police Tun Mohamed Hanif Omar, was the first bullet-proof vehicle for a police chief.
Do you know that there are such things as pornographic handkerchiefs? You can see the handkerchief which were confiscated from the Communists in the 1950s. At a glance, they resembled normal handkerchiefs with an innocent scene, but if folded appropriately, a pornographic picture is revealed. The museum, however, do not display the folded version of the picture.
Open: Daily 1000 to 1800 hrs. except Mondays
Situated near the Planetarium and National Mosque