Selangor Club

The Selangor Club started in 1884 in a wooden building with thatch or attap roof. In 1890 the club was upgraded to a two storey building that was designed by AC Norman.

 

Royal Selangor Club of Kuala Lumpur

Quick Facts

Selangor Club black and white photo
Royal Selangor Club, at the Dataran Merdeka
Royal Selangor Club at the Dataran Merdeka

This is among the many heritage buildings and culture left by the British in Kuala Lumpur.

Contact and Address of Selangor Club

Membership

Why was it called the Spotted Dog?

The Club used to be fondly referred to as the "spotted dog". There are a few versions to it.

Version 1

The most popular version is that during the colonial days, the British used to bring their dogs to the padang or field. And Dalmatians, with their characteristic spots, were very popular then. As pets were not allowed into the prestigious clubhouse, they were left around the padang. And as a result, people started to refer to the place as the Spotted Dog.

Version 2

Another version is that the original owner had two Dalmatians and would leave the dogs at the entrance to the club.

Version 3

Yet another version, this time more political and probably closer to the truth. You see, during those colonial days, not only were dogs and other pets not allowed into the clubhouse, even people of low social stature, and locals, were not allowed into the club. Unless you were an employee of the clubhouse, of course. And as such only British and 'white' folks were allowed into the club.
However, as time evolved the club started to admit some prominent local businessmen and other important local personalities.
When seen from afar the club does looked indeed like a spotted dog with members comprising mainly of white folks and some colored Malays, Chinese and Indians among them.

Even today, membership to the exclusive club is a real privilege. Only the very well healed and respected members of the community are allowed membership there.

However it's a little funny as the club, with it's high entrance fees and requirements does not offer much in terms of facilities. It does not, for example provide golf course, swimming pool, tennis courts, squash courts and such.

The new Club Annexe at Bukit Kiara does have all of these facilities though. You may read more about it at the Merdeka Square page.

Updates on the Royal Selangor Club

Thursday 15th January 2009

The Royal Selangor Club Hash House Harriers turns 125 years today. To mark the occassion the Hash Heritage Room was created at the club at Dataran Merdeka.

To read more about the event, check out The Star Thursday January 15, 2009.

 

Out in the Midday Sun: The British in Malaya, 1880-1960 (Hardcover)

by Margaret Shennan

Through memoirs, letters and interviews this text chronicles events and explores the anomalies and conflicts of the British rule in Malaysia from 1880 to 1960.

Review
“This book is a welcome addition to imperial studies in general and Southeast Asian studies in particular.” -- Choice

Get Out in the Midday Sun: The British in Malaya here

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