The state of Perak boasts immense development potentials, excellent geographical environment, coupled with the state government’s economic transformation program have given the state a highly diversified economy. All the 11 districts of Perak boast their individual uniqueness, with free trade zones, aquacultural farms, various plantation, automobile manufacturing and tourism industries, tertiary educational hubs, making Perak a state teeming with lucrative business opportunities.
There are currently 11 districts in the state of Perak .The following are the geographical features, population, sub-districts and unique economic characteristics of individual districts based on the information provided by the Statistics Department:
1. Hulu Perak: Free Trade Zone
Hulu Perak is located in the mountainous northeast of the state of Perak with the highest point at 1,534 meters above the sea level. Covering an area of 6,558 sq km, the district is known for its fertile farmlands and breathtaking scenery. With a population of 95,500, the Hulu Perak district is the biggest in land area among the ten districts of the state. Hulu Perak is further divided into six sub-districts, namely Temenggor, Gerik, Lenggong, Lawin, Belum and Pengkalan Hulu.
- Agriculture and eco-tourism industry
- Temenggor Dam for power generation purposes
- Kroh checkpoint for access to southern Thailand
- To be developed by the state government into Free Trade Zone
2. Perak Tengah: Campus City
Perak Tengah is located in the southern part of the state with a land area of 1,282 sq km and a population of 105,400. It is made up of seven sub-districts: Bota, Parit, Lambor, Tronoh, Seri Iskandar, Kampung Gajah and Layang Layang.
The development of Perak Tengah is mostly centered around Seri Iskandar, which is one of the university towns in Perak. In addition to the established Mara University of Technology (UiTM) and Petronas University, Seri Iskandar also boasts Mara Business College and National Youth Vocational Institute (IKBN). The government is planning to construct a nursing school here. Several other university campuses will also be set up here in the future. Thanks to the presence of these tertiary institutions, Seri Iskandar is fast becoming one of the real estate hot spots in the state of Perak.
3. Hilir Perak: Major fishing and shipbuilding hub
Located in the southwest of Perak, the district of Hilir Perak covers an area of 1,727 sq km with a population of 213,800. Hilir Perak is divided into eight sub-districts, namely Teluk Intan, Bagan Datoh, Hutan Melintang Changkat Jong, Sungai Manik, Langkap, Selekoh and Chikus.
The district is best known for the Leaning Tower of Teluk Intan, the third largest town in Perak after Ipoh and Taiping.
Hilir Perak boasts a highly diversified economy with oil palm and local fruits as its major agricultural products, along with a thriving fishing industry and emerging shipbuilding industry thanks to its coastal location near to the estuary of Sungai Perak.
4. Kinta District: Real estate hot spot
Kinta District is situated in the heart of the state covering about 1,038 sq km with a population of 795,600. The Perak state capital Ipoh is located in this district. Kinta district is further divided into 13 sub-districts, namely Ipoh, Tanjung Rambutan, Batu Gajah, Bercham, Chemor, Jelapang, Klebang, Lahat, Meru, Menglembu, Tambun, Pusing and Meru Raya.
Kinta district used to be a tin-mining hub of the country and the industrial contributed significantly to the early development of the district.
Following the decline of tin-mining industry, the district of Kinta has attempted to diversify the local economy through a variety of ways such as developing value-added and resource-based manufacturing industry as well as services sector.
Seat of the state administration being at the heart of the state of Perak.
The administrative hub has helped boost the local business and real estate scene. More than half of all new housing projects in the state are located here, especially in the vicinity of Ipoh.
Ipoh is also known as a tourist city boasting breathtaking scenery with limestone hills and lakes.
5. Larut, Matang & Selama: Prosperous commercial and industrial hub
The district of Larut, Matang and Selama is located in the northwest of Perak. Covering 2,103 sq km with a population of 346,000, the district can be further divided into seven sub-districts: Kamunting, Terong, Changkat Jering, Bukit Gantang, Batu Kurau, Kuala Sepetang and Taiping Town.
Following the inclusion of northern Perak in the Northern Corridor Economic Region (NCER), Larut, Matang and Selama district has been experiencing phenomenal growth in commercial activities, including investments in the manufacturing sector, hypermarkets and hotels that have collectively created plenty of job opportunities for the local residents. High impact development projects are being carried out in the district, including tire factories, rubber glove factories, prawn canning factories and other manufacturing and processing factories.
The district attracted more than RM1.2 billion in domestic and foreign investments in 2013. Kamunting alone attracted some RM597,029,192 worth of foreign direct investments as of 2013.Due to the developments in the economic corridor, the new Anak Kurau-Kamunting Road was open to vehicular traffic in 2011, directly boosting the economic activities of both towns.
6. Kerian: Arowana breeding center
The northwestern district of Kerian covers 938 sq km with a population of 186,900. The district is further divided into nine sub-districts: Parit Buntar, Bagan Tiang, Tanjung Piandang, Kuala Kurau, Bagan Serai, Semanggol, Bukit Merah and Selinsing.
The Bukit Merah Lake completed in 1906 is the oldest man-made lake in the country. The 7,000-acre lake is a natural habitat for many unique flora and fauna species, giving rise to a thriving aquacultural industry in the district and is one of the most important arowana breeding centers in Malaysia.
7. Kuala Kangsar: The Royal Town
The district of Kuala Kangsar is located in eastern Perak with a land area of 2,547 sq km and a population of 162,600. The royal town of Perak, Kuala Kangsar district can be further divided into 12 sub-districts: Kuala Kangsar Town, Sungai Siput (U), Manong, Sayong, Enggor, Karai, Lintang, Padang Rengas, Kota Lama Kiri and Kota Lama Kanan.
The state government has placed a lot of emphasis on the preservation of the Royal Town’s unique characteristics and royalty heritage. Bukit Chandan is a town boasting the most royal institutes in the district. Here you can find the majestic Istana Iskandariah, Ubudiah Mosque, the Royal Mausoleum and Istana Kenangan, making Bukit Chandan an important tourist destination in the district.
8. Manjung: the rice bowl of Perak
Manjung District was formerly known as Dinding before it was renamed in 1980. The district covers an area of 266.47 sq km with a population of 243,800. It comprises eight sub-districts, namely Sitiawan, Lumut, Lekir, Bruas, Damai Laut, Ayer Tawar, Pantai Remis and Pulau Pangkor.
- -Very extensive economic activities, from traditional fishing to aquaculture.
- – Agriculture is a major economic sector for the district, with oil palm, rubber and fruits being the principal crops.
- Manjung is also one of the important poultry and egg producing areas in the country.
- There are two power generating plants and two seaport terminals in the district complement the state’s logistics industry.
9. Kampar: Emerging education hub
Kampar is situated in southeastern Perak with a land area of 920 sq km and a population of 102,400. It was elevated to district status as recently as in 2009. The district of Kampar is divided into eight sub-districts, namely Chenderiang, Temoh, Banir, Air Kuning, Mambang.
Diawan, Kampung Kinjang, Malim Nawar and Kuala Dipang. Kampar used to be one of the largest tin-producing areas in the world but later due to dwindling demands, tin-mining activities have since stopped.
Renowned local private institution Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) has its main campus in Kampar. The number of students pursuing their studies at UTAR stood at 14,314 as of 2013 (Ministry of Education Malaysia statistics). Kampar has emerged as a university town and regional education hub, and this has indirectly boosted the local property values.
10. Batang Padang: The promising Auto City
The southeastern district of Batang Padang covers an area of 2,730 sq km with a population of 184,300. The district comprises eight sub-districts, including Tanjung Malim, Slim River, Tapah, Bikam, Bidor, Trolak, Behrang and Sungkai.
Proton City is located in Tanjung Malim in the district of Batang Padang. The state government has plans to develop the district into a veritable automobile manufacturing hub. The state government announced in 2012 that the HICOM Group had proposed an Automobile City masterplan to the state executive council with investments amounting to more than RM1 billion, in a bid to revitalize this mega project which had been stalled for more than 15 years with 70% of land still undeveloped.
11. Mua’lim: Expanding the industrial development potentials of Perak
In line with economic development needs and having considered the explosive population increase, the Perak state government has set up a new district in southern part of the state. The new Mu’alim district encompasses the areas surrounding Tanjung Malim and Slim River. Previously under the jurisdiction of Batang Padang district, Tanjung Malim is an important automobile manufacturing base. Its elevation to district status is poised to further expand the industrial development potentials of southern Perak.