To tell you the truth, I didn’t know this gem of a museum existed until I stumbled upon it, purely by chance. I had just finished visiting the National Planetarium across the road when this caught my eye. Since it was still early in the afternoon and entrance was free, I decided to pop on over to check it out.
Welcome to the Royal Malaysian Police Museum! :) The original wooden building was completed in 1958, under the supervision of the Police Training Center. Malaysia had just obtained independence from the British the year before, so there is a pronounced English influence in the artifacts and exhibits, coupled with traditional Malay architecture.
There were several large exhibits in the yard, including a life-sized plane , police tanks and cannons dating back to colonial rule.
Cannons. Some were used at police stations all over Malaya… before finding their final resting place here.
An ‘Armoured Wickham Trolley’ on a railway. These were used in pre-independence Malaya to fight against communists during the Emergency, and was manned by five or six policemen at any given time.
The wooden building. It looked small on the outside but was actually very spacious on the inside, with three galleries housing police items and paraphernalia through the ages.
Walking in, I was greeted by two friendly policewomen who gave me brochures to look through. Apparently no photography was allowed inside the galleries. Idk why; my only guess is that criminals might try to impersonate details (?)
The place had many interesting exhibits! It was such a shame, so I sneaked in a few shots (please don’t arrest me D:)
The first section chronicled the evolution of police uniforms. During the British era, policemen wore shorts, while policewomen wore knee-length skirts. The wall was filled with badges and insignia.
Another section told the story of how ‘policemen’ came about, starting from the Malacca Sultanate in the 1400s. Back then, the keeper of the peace was called a Temenggung, who was in charge of the Sultan/royal family’s security along with a group of elite guards. The exhibits were arranged well and the props looked good too (I’m sorry to say that is a rare case for Malaysian museums, which often have static and cheap-looking props).
There was also a section dedicated to Malaysia’s rich colonial past, with uniforms of both the Dutch and Portuguese which conquered Malacca in the 1500s and 1700s, respectively.
I exited Gallery A into an open area with mannequins of SWAT-team forces descending down from the roof. Across from that were two more galleries.
Unfortunately, I don’t have anymore pictures of the interior coz I was worried I might get told off :P
One of the most interesting rooms inside was the armoury, which housed all sorts of guns, machetes, grenades (!) and other weaponry. Some were confiscated from criminals such as the fearsome Botak Chin, a ruthless robber with his own gang who was arrested and hanged to death after terrorising the nation in the 1960s – 70s. There were also displays of guns used by the police force themselves; including AK47s, M16s and a whole bunch of other things that goes beyond my gun knowledge learned from playing Left4Dead.
While wandering about the room, a thought occured to me if those were just replicas or the actual items. If they were real, that meant that some of these weapons had killed people before… that freaked me out so I left in a hurry lol.
I also found the Communist-era items fascinating. There was a set with mannequins hidden behind foliage; since the communists would often hide in jungles. There were also old wanted posters and notices, smuggle notes (communists would ask help for food and supplies from Chinese villages through codes), tiffin cans and other items used by them while fighting guerilla in the jungle. The one that tickled me most, though, was these set of yellowing handkerchiefs with pictures on them. They seemed like everyday scenes of men and women but when folded, would create pornographic images.
Well…when you gotta have it, you gotta have it. ;D
The trip was surprisingly enjoyable! It is one of my favourite museums so far; with well-kept and informative exhibits, nice displays, loads of info and an interesting look into the country’s police force. We often take the men in blue for granted, so it was nice to know and understand the sacrifices many of them make for the country and it’s people.
Definitely worth a second visit. :)
Royal Malaysian Police Museum
No. 5 Jalan Perdana, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Phone: 03-2272 5689
Open Daily: 10.00am to 6pm (closed Mondays, 12pm – 2pm for Friday prayers)
Here’s a video of my trip to both the Planetarium and the museum. Enjoy! :)