Seremban – from tin mining hub to a city

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 18 Jan 2020

Now and then: (pic, top) Seremban today and in the 1980s (pic, below). — Bernama

SEREMBAN: Seremban became a city on Jan 1 and it is growing rapidly.

Based on the Negri Sembilan population census in 2018, Seremban, which used to be a tin mining centre and formerly known as Sungai Ujong, had a population of 619,100 people.

According to the Malaysian Historical Society’s Negri Sembilan branch secretary, Sudin Kamari, Sungai Ujong was the first settlement in the state that was opened in 1773, about 247 years ago.

“Sungai Ujong was said to have been named after a felling incident of an old merbau tree in Rembau.

“The name was changed to Seremban during the British colonial rule after a traditional game known as ‘Batu Sarimban’ or ‘Batu Seremban’, often played by the Chinese community near the Seremban railway station at the time.

“The game, also known as ‘selambut’, can be played in groups or individually,” he said in an interview recently.

Sudin said the original people of Negri Sembilan were the Orang Asli, prior to the arrival of the Minangkabau people who brought along the Adat Pepatih, a custom practised by the community till this day.

“Most of them are from villages in the area around Pagar Ruyong like Sungai Tarap and Sumanik. Those who landed in Kuala Sungai Linggi set up settlements in Rembau and Sungai Ujong, as well as in Seri Menanti.

“Those who arrived through Melaka occupied areas in Naning, Johol and parts of Kuala Pilah,” he added.

Sudin said in 1884, the British began to carry out physical developments in Seremban by building roads and railway lines.

“During the British colonial period from the 1880s to the early 1900s, the early British administration built roads and railway lines to stir development in Sungai Ujong.

“This development could be seen as the British began building a network of major roads and railways.

“The area in Jalan Channer (now known as Jalan Datuk Siamang Gagap) was made the administrative centre where the residence of the first English resident, Captain Murray, was built,” he said, adding that this led to the area becoming a trade centre.

Following which, the British built shop houses, commercial buildings and markets as well as a post office, police station and schools.

On Jan 1, the Seremban Municipal Council (MPS) was accorded city status following its merger with the Nilai Municipal Council.

Datuk Zazali Salehudin is appointed the city’s first mayor.

The Seremban City Council has 24 members, with 10 of them sworn into office on Jan 2.

A ceremony will be held on Monday to declare Seremban a city.

It is scheduled to be launched by Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan Tuanku Muhriz Tuanku Munawir. — Bernama

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Seremban , city , development


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