History

UNIVERSITI MALAYA (the University of Malaya), is situated amidst a lush campus in the south-west corner of Kuala Lumpur, the dynamic and bustling capital city of Malaysia. The former University of Malaya was established in 1949 by fusion of the King Edward VII College of Medicine and Raffles College as recommended by the Carr-Saunders Commission on University Education in Malaya to serve the needs of Singapore and the Federation of Malaya.

The University was reconstituted on 15th January 1959 as the University of Malaya with a Court, a Central Council, a Guild of Graduates, a Chancellor, Pro-Chancellors, and a Vice-Chancellor with two equal and autonomous Divisions, one in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur. The Divisions were responsible for instruction. Each Division had its own Council, Senate, Faculties and teaching departments, Principal, Registrar, Bursar and Librarian. The two local Governments had already indicated in 1960 their intention to have the Divisions become national universities of the respective countries in 1962. Legislations were passed to put this into effect, with 1st. January 1962 as “the Foundation Day”. The Singapore Division became the University of Singapore (becoming the existing National University of Singapore or “NUS” in 1980 after merging with Nanyang University).

The Kuala Lumpur Division retained the name of University of Malaya or “Universiti Malaya” in Bahasa Malaysia or “UM” in short for both names. Owing the shortage of medical doctors in Malaya, the Kuala Lumpur Divisional Senate set up in May 1960 a Board of Studies to look into the possibility of establishing a second medical school in Kuala Lumpur. The Board of Studies submitted its Report in late 1961. The Board recommended, inter alia, that a faculty of medicine be established forthwith in Kuala Lumpur to produce 100 medical doctors annually. The existing Faculty of Medicine was established by University Statute in September 1962.

The Faculty became functional from 1st. February 1963 when Dr.T.J. Danaraj assumed duty as the First Professor of Medicine and Foundation Dean of the Faculty. Forty (40) Pre-Medical students were admitted in May 1963 and were taught in the Faculty of Science. The first batch of 64 students (including those promoted from the Pre-Medical course) were admitted to Year I (Pre-Clinical Year) of medical course proper in May 1964. On 5th. August 1968, the University Hospital (now the University of Malaya Medical Centre or UMMC) was officially opened by His Majesty the Yang Dipertuan Agong, Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda Yang Dipertuan Agong Tuanku Ismail Nasarudin Shah Ibni Alharmahum Sultan Zainal Abidin.

UMMC has since expanded rapidly from its original sole tower and ancillary blocks to a comprehensive medical complex with the addition of a primary care medicine building (1992), an east wing containing the expanded Clinical Diagnostic Lab and Clinical Services Complex (1997) and a Trauma & Emergency building (2003). New buildings to house the expanded paediatrics and obstetrics and gynaecology services are currently under construction. New centres of excellence and research have also been built within the UMMC and Faculty of Medicine.

These include a Clinical Investigation Centre, Biomedical Technology Centre, analytical laboratories (SUXess), and the most expansive animal laboratory facilities in Malaysia. Collaborative research with overseas and local partners has brought UMMC to the forefront of biomedical science and technology, spearheading the advent in new knowledge and discovery. The Faculty has also expanded in its teaching activities, training highly qualified medical and allied health personnel at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels in many fields of specialization.