Right at the fringe of Dataran Merdeka stands the mock-Tudor structure called the Royal Selangor Club. It was the centre of colonial society after its construction in 1890 and still attracts a well-to-do crowd of VIPs and businessmen who wish to build up their social business network.

Royal Selangor Club


The Royal Selangor Club has a humble beginning when it was founded in 1884 with a structure made up from a small plank building with thatched roof. The social circle of expatriate community and their love for cricket matches soon made the place too small and was replaced by a two-storey timber structure in 1890. The new timber structure was designed by A.C.Norman (whom incidentally also design the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in the far opposite of the Dataran Merdeka). Later the building was rebuilt in 1910 into a mock-Tudor style by another architect, A.B. Hubbard. In the late 1960s, disaster strike in the form of a fire with much of the building damaged. The Royal Selangor was than rebuilt again into its present form in 1979 by architect Fong Ying Leong.

The Royal Selangor Club was also known as “The Spotted Dog” during the British colonial days. The Police Commissioner wife would often bring along their pet Dalmatian whenever they came over to the club. The distinctive black and white markings of the Dalmatian soon gave rise to the nickname.


Exclusivity

If you wish to enjoy its ambience you will need to know some VIPs who can take you in for drink or a meal. The entry is exclusive and only for members of the club and it is also considered an exclusive male enclave. I consider myself to have such a privilege to have gain entry once many years ago when an associate businessman brought us in for some drinks and socializing.

Within the club, it has one of the finest colonial saloons with trophies and pictures of cricket teams and a famous Long Bar nicknamed “The Dog”. (There must be some kind of fascination in the club about dogs if they have this “dog” nickname from the building right to the Long Bar itself!) You could also view some very old photographs of good old KL within the club and compare the amount of progress and changes since the days of old.

Since it is not easy to gain entry to this Royal Selangor Club I guess you just have to satisfy yourself with an exterior picture shot. Or turn your nose up, turn around and proceed to other nearby Kuala Lumpur landmarks around the cricket grounds (or Padang, if like to know the Malay name for a grass field) like the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, the 100m tall flagpole with a Malaysia flag, or perhaps you might want to receive some blessings and holy anointing and visit the St Mary’s Church, one of the oldest Anglican churches in Malaysia. If it is any consolation for average Joes like us, the Padang use to belong to the club but has since been taken back by the government for public gathering and functions.

Can’t stand the snob? Quick, go to other KL landmarks around the area:

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