About the Club

Founding of the Royal Klang Club, Klang

Although we have no records to prove it, we have learnt from reliable sources that Klang Club was founded in 1901, at the present location, for the purpose of the social and recreational activities of the colonial members mainly British and European civil servants and businessmen. At that time, Klang Club consisted of the old main building. This consisted of a hall including lounge area, and an office, small dining area, bar and billiards room downstairs.Upstairs there were a few guest rooms, a stage and a small theatre capable of seating about 100 people. The theatre was used for staging plays especially during Christmas and concerts by visiting artists. In the initial years of its founding and up to the beginning of the Second World War in 1941, the Klang Club was the focal point for the sporting, social and cultural activities of the European community in Klang.

Japanese Occupation

During the Japanese Occupation (1942-45), the Klang Club was used as a recreational mess for Japanese army officers stationed in Klang and Port Swettenham. Fortunately, it survived the ravages of war and escaped without any damage for the duration of the war.

Return of the British

Following the return of the British in 1945, it became once again the centre of European leisure time activities in Klang. Up to the attainment of independence by the Federation of Malaya in 1957, it remained a “European Only” club whereby the members were European planters, businessmen and professionals and British Civil servants and military personnel. The President of the Klang Club was usually the District officer or the Senior police officer. However, leading businessman, were occasionally elected as President.

The Klang Club was renowned for its sporting activities which included rugger, hockey, cricket and tennis. Although Europeans constituted the majority of team members, talented Klangites, especially schoolboys were included in the teams as “associate” and “junior member”. Cricket, in particular, was popular in Klang and hardly a Sunday went by without a game being played at the Klang Club padang, while spectators watched from verandah of the Club premises.

Fifties and Sixties

In the fifties and sixties, Klang Club organized an annual lawn tennis tournament, usually during the Easter holidays. These tournaments, which were part of the Selangor Lawn Tennis Association’s calendar of events, were popular. One notable tennis player from Klang who reached national prominence through these tournaments was Billy Yap, who eventually represented Malaysia in the Davis Cup competiton

A major landmark in the development of the Klang Club was the extension to the Club premises in 1965, consisting of a large dining area and attached space. This dining area which was called the “Smuggler’s Inn” was officially opened on Saturday 18th September 1965 at 8.00 pm with a Buffet Supper being served. Before the present renovation, the old Smugglers Inn” was modeled on the line of a Ship’s Bar and furnished with a view to providing a nautical atmosphere.

This included a mast-like beam in the middle, surrounded by fishing nets hung from the ceilling and a rope ladder which those who had a little too much to drink were fond of climbing. Members will be pleased to note that the basic features of the Smuggler’s Inn, have been retained in the present renovation. The most popular spot in the club is the old watering hole called the “Admiral Benbow Inn”. This old watering hole has retained its name and design, though refurbished in recent times to cater to the discerning need of the members.

In the late sixties, the Klang Club became the focal point for British Theatrical activities, following the establishment of Klang Theatre Workshop, in 1967. The Klang Theatre Workshop had an eventful existence under the leadership of Reginald Collins, (a past President). Between 1968 and 1969, these Workshop staged plays i.e. “The Beaux”, “Strategen”, “othelo”, “The Recruiting officer”, “The Entertainer”, “The Hostage”, and “Billy Liar”. All of them were staged in the upstairs portion of the Club, or the British Council Theatre in K.L. Part of the upstairs portion was turned into office rooms for the Administrative staff. The stage, however remained for a long time and together with the hall was used for many an AGMs in years past. Today the whole upstairs section has been converted into office space, meeting rooms and store rooms.

Malaysians admitted as Members and elected President

Beginning from 1957, the “Europeans only” policy was gradually changed and carefully selected Malaysians were admitted as members. Some of the early Malaysian members were prominent professionals and businessmen, such as Dr. Lim Sian Lock, who became the first non-European President of the Klang Club in 1972. Dato George La Brooy and Dato Lee Eng Teh were two other very early and prominent Malaysian members of the club.

The 1970s also witnessed a growth in membership as more Malaysians were admitted as members. However, there was no correspondent increase in sporting activities, with the exception of golf and tennis. Social activities, however, have increased with gatherings being held to mark the major festive occasions in Malaysia.

It was under the Presidency of Mr.Koh Seng Chong, the second Malaysian to hold this post, that the construction of the swimming pool and its annexe were completed in 1976. Although faced with initial teething problems, Mr.Koh Seng Chong also initiated the very successful annual games between, Klang Club and Gagak Country Club of Segamat.

The Third Malaysian to become President of the Club, was Encik Shaari Bin Mat Jihin, who served from 1978 to 1981. Under his presidency, there was an increase in membership and renovations were done to existing Club premises. As the UMNO State Treasurer, he was awarded the DSSA and is now Dato’ Shaari bin Mat Jihin.

Mr. Tan Kim Chooi was the fourth Malaysian to hold the post from 1981 to 1991. Under his presedency, plans were drawn up for the “new look” to the club premises. The renovations were carried out in July 1983 and were completed on the 1st of January 1984. The renovations still stand today as testimony of the works carried out 16 years ago. In 1987 the squash complex with 3 squash courts, gymnasium, saunas and change rooms and table tennis room was constructed.

The fifth Malaysian to hold the post as President was the late Mr. Peter Tan Ban Kim. The late Mr. Peter Tan was most notable as the President who made Klang Club into a club to be reckoned with in the swimming pool in various inter club competitions. During his time many of the junior members became State and National swimmers.

Mr. R. Nageswaren was the sixth Malaysian to hold this post. Under his presidency, the club managed to obtain a concession from the Royal Patron to utilise part of the land of the palace ground for an open air sports complex. The result is the construction of the modern synthetic surface tennis courts and basketball cum volleyball courts. All these courts are under lights for night play. In addition, a cricket practice net, a badminton court and a children’s play area were also constructed.

Still emphasising on sports he had plans drawn up for an indoor multi purpose hall constructed on the roof top of the squash complex which now houses the table tennis hall cum an indoor badminton court. The gymnasium was also relocated to the roof top and a billiard and snooker centre together with a dance and aerobic centre were allocated rooms in the sports complex.

The “creme de la creme” came in 1999 when the Royal Patron of the club who is HRH the Sultan of Selangor accorded the “Royal” status to the club and today our club is proudly known as the Royal Klang Club.

The seventh Malaysian President was Mr. Sia Say Yee who held the post from 2002-2005. During his tenure, he was responsible for the construction of a new building to house the slot machine room and also purchasing the land at the frontage of the club thus extending the territory of the club by another 40,000 square feet