Royal Selangor Pewter is synonymous with Malaysia, and no visit to Kuala Lumpur is complete without a trip to the Royal Selangor Pewter Factory. In fact, a visit there has been a local highlight for ISKL Elementary students for many years where they get to use traditional tools at the School of Hard Knocks.
Royal Selangor pewter is famous around the world and was founded in 1885 by a young pewtersmith named Yong Koon who arrived here from China, armed with “little more than a set of tools and a determination to succeed.” Pewter comprises largely of tin, and Kuala Lumpur’s tin mines made it the ideal spot for the business to flourish. In 1930, Yong Koon’s wife, Loh Pat had saved enough money to buy the family its own shophouse in Pudu Road. It’s another 15 years before one of their sons, Peng Kai opens a retail outlet on what is now Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
Fast forward to 1979, the Sultan of Selangor confers the warrant of Royal Pewterer…
His Royal Highness Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah, the late Sultan of Selangor, had been an occasional customer of Selangor Pewter during the 1970s. The Sultan would often buy a pewter tea set for a visiting head of state or gifts for his trips abroad. In the late 1970s, the Sultan was travelling in Perth, Australia, when he stepped into a large department store with his entourage and was respectfully asked by the sales assistants where he was from.
“Selangor,” the Sultan answered. “Ah, Selangor Pewter,” the sales staff intoned. The Sultan was tickled that the Australians had heard of Selangor Pewter but not of the state of Selangor nor the Sultan of Selangor. On his return, he decided that the pewter company should have royal status. In 1979, he conferred a royal warrant on Selangor
Pewter. After that, he insisted that every piece he bought be engraved with the words: “By royal appointment to his Royal Highness, The Sultan of Selangor” In 1992, in recognition of the royal warrant, the company officially changed its name to Royal Selangor. Source: Royal Selangor website
To celebrate ISKL’s 55th Anniversary, we commissioned Royal Selangor to design and handcraft the commemorative limited edition ISKL Panther pictured here in solid pewter and 24-carat gold-plated solid pewter. All proceeds from the sale of these figurines go to the ISKL Development Fund, laying the foundations for the next 55 years. Please click here if you’d like to learn more!