If we were to rank the 13 states according to their prominence, Perak was already at the top a whole century ago. Noted as the top producer of tin in the world, Perak had the highest GDP at the time of the country’s independence. Although the tin mining industry went into decline in 1982, Perak still shine with its other achievements today.
1. First animation theme park in Asia
The first quarter of 2016 will see the completion of Asia’s first “dreamworks” in the emerging administrative center of Meru Raya near Ipoh. The park will feature some of the most notable DreamWorks cartoon characters.
The park will feature about 40 recreational rides and shows, including Asia’s first live car stunt show, the tallest drop tower and live online streaming. Open whole year round, the park is expected to attract 1.4 million visitors in the first year.
2. South East Asia International Footwear City
The annual sales of Malaysia female footwear is as high as RM1.1 billion, and Perak which is known for its shoemaking industry takes 70% of the market share and generates a revenue of RM 650 million, becoming the state with the biggest female footwear industry in Malaysia. The creative designs and high quality are also well received by overseas consumers.
Therefore, Perak Footwear Industry Association has begun building an international footwear city at Kinta District as a base for promoting the footwear business and a platform for developing international footwear fashion.
3. The biggest charcoal producer in South East Asia
Kuala Sepetang in northern Perak boasts the world’s largest mangrove forests with an area of more than 40,000 hectares, providing the necessary resources to the charcoal making industry in Kuala Sepetang.
There are about 100 coal kilns, some more than 100 years old, in Kuala Sepetang, making it the place with the most coal kilns in South East Asia. These kilns operate day and night to turn high-quality mangrove wood into charcoal which is exported overseas, in particular Japan and Korea. The demand for these high quality charcoals are so high that a Japanese corporation established a base there just to purchase them before others.
This industry which is also known as the “purple gold” industry not only boosts export revenue for the country, but also attracts many domestic and foreign visitors, making the mangrove forest and charcoal kilns famous attractions for eco-tourists.
4. Ipoh White Coffee of international fame
Ipoh White Coffee which has a long history is a star product of Perak. With its uniquely rich taste and aroma, and low caffeine content, was well received by the domestic and foreign consumers alike. The 3-in-1 Ipoh White Coffee is known throughout the world, especially in China.
Notably, Ipoh White Coffee was made the official beverage for the Malaysian Pavilion during the 2010 Shanghai World Exposition.
5. Malaysia’s largest agricultural producer
Perak is Malaysia’s largest producer of vegetables, fruits, livestocks and freshwater fishes. Its grain production is also ranked the top 3 in Malaysia. These produce are supplied to major cities in Malaysia, as well as exported overseas. Perak is the largest producer for pork and duck. Besides from that, Bidor also produces the healthy and tasty “Sakura pork” which is bred using imported lactic bacteria technique. The duck meat of Batu Gajah was exported to Singapore in vacuum packaging comparable to Peking duck.
80% of Malaysia’s freshwater fish is supplied from Perak, which is also the number one producer of ornamental fish. Perak is also chosen as a location to breed the famous Chinese Sturgeon, which considered as a national treasure of China, by Taiwanese companies due to the high quality of its mountain spring.
Other famous produce of Perak, like pomelo and peanuts are also sold nationwide and exported overseas. Well recognized Spritzer mineral water, which is produced in Taiping, is also a top export product, and is known as “Malaysia’s EVIAN (a french mineral water of worldwide fame)”.
The success of Perak’s agriculture is inseparable from its unique environment: the soil, the abandoned mine lake, the rain forests and the limestone mountain spring, which results in high quality, healthy and taste produce.
6. Global Export Center of Arowana
Perak is considered a global export center for ornamental fish and exports a large amount of them, especially the expensive Arowana. Ornamental fish is an industry with high economic value and has brought millions of income for the nation.
Bukit Merah, located at northern Perak, is one of the origins of Asian Arowana, and became known throughout the world by producing the precious fish with its unique water quality and stable temperature. The Arowana is especially favored by the Chinese. 95% of Perak’s Arowana is exported to China, Taiwan, Singapore and western countries, making Perak an important breeding center of Arowana fish.
7. The first inland port of Southeast Asia
Ipoh Cargo Terminal is known as the first inland port in Southeast Asia. It is a “dry port” which provides inland logistics services similar to a seaport, including freight forwarding, customs clearance and warehousing.
The first inland port in Malaysia is also well connected to Port Klang via railway for exports to overseas markets, as well as two other deepwater cargo ports, forming a comprehensive freight network. Many large corporations and SMEs in Perak and nearby states utilizes this inland port for their import and export activities.
8. The country’s largest automobile manufacturing base
Proton City in Tanjung Malim is the largest automobile manufacturing base in Malaysia.
The RM1.8 billion assembly plant will be able to produce up to 500,000 vehicles annually once the Proton facilities from Shah Alam in Selangor are relocated here over the next five years.
In the future the government also plan to expand the “supplier hub” in order to attract more domestic suppliers to invest here, establishing a complete supply chain of automobile parts and assembly center at Proton City.
9. The first electric train manufacturing center in Southeast Asia
China’s largest electric train manufacturer CSR Corporation Limited is investing RM900 million to establish an electric locomotive plant in Batu Gajah, turning Perak into a primary electric locomotive manufacturing center in Southeast Asia.
CSR Corporation has since 2010 secured manufacturing contracts for 48 electric locomotives and 30 LRT cars from Malaysia. In late 2014, the company further secured a RM200 million maintenance contract with the Malaysian government. The electric trains ordered by the Malaysian government from CSR will be manufactured here, including trains used for the RM 40 billion KL-Singapore high speed railway, the first in Southeast Asia.
This manufacturing base has so far created more than 500 employment opportunities and has benefited related industries and the local economy. CSR will also provide training and facilitate skill transfer to the local rail equipment industry.
10. Largest cement and limestone producer in Malaysia
Ipoh is the city with the most limestone mountains and world-class quarries in Malaysia. High quality lime mined and produced from these mountains is widely applied in industry. The world’s largest lime production companies OMYA and IMERYS have established bases of operation here.
11. The most prestigious resort in Malaysia
Perak is known for its natural environment. The Sunway group constructed unique resorts among the rain forests and limestone hills. Its well known Banjaran Hotspring Retreat was built among rain forests and crystal caves of 200 million to 400 million years old, providing a natural wellness center for its guests.
Among its coastal islands is the world famous Pangkor Laut one island one resort, providing private and luxurious havens to the wealthy, celebrities and dignitaries alike.
12. Taiping top Malaysia with 33 “first” records
A town with 170 years of history, Taiping holds a total of 33 records of Malaysia’s firsts. With a plethora of historical sites with over 100 years of history and strikingly beautiful landscape, Taiping is considered one of the most famous tourist destinations in Malaysia.