Between 1903 and 1957 there existed an older palace on the same site [as the palace of the Sultan of Selangor], known as Istana Mahkota Puri. It was built in 1903 during the rule of Sultan Sir Alaeddin Sulaiman Shah, who was the fifth Sultan of Selangor, and the design closely resembles the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Kuala Lumpur. The Sultan went on to live in the palace for 35 years until his death in 1938. In the 1950s it was briefly used as a student dorm for nearby schools. The palace was demolished in October 1957 and soon replaced by the present-day structure.
…taking the reign as Sultan Alaeddin Suleiman Shah, the grandson of Sultan Abdul Samad informed the State Council that he preferred for his seat to be in Klang instead of Jugra or Kuala Lumpur. . . Sultan Alaeddin found Klang’s fort too cramped for a palace site and the existing Malay graves there wasn’t much of a pull to him either. A 25-acre area along Langat Road was deemed suitable. With that site in mind, plans for Klang’s new palace was announced in the papers in October 1898. However, as you know, land matters are not always straight forward and so a new location had to be agreed upon. It was only by March 1899 that a final site was selected on a hill overlooking Klang’s recreation ground.
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Records reveal that two design concepts were proposed by the team, one in a Mughal-Eclectic style reflecting the design of the New Government Office that Hubback and Row had worked on earlier. The other was in European style. Sultan Alaeddin selected the former, but his choice was met with slight resistance from the Secretary General, Henry Conway Belfield, as it was twice the allocated budget, sending Spooner’s team back to the drawing board to revise their design and estimates.
The Klang Istana was officially named as Istana Mahkota. Sultan Alaeddin was formally installed as the 5th Sultan of Selangor at the Istana in November 1903. Construction works at the palace however did not stop then. He had earlier in May 1903 insisted for a building extension, for which an additional $10,000 budget was approved.
Arthur Benison Hubback
Palace of the sultan at Klang near Kuala Lumpur, c.1910 Wikimedia Commons
From behind the veil of the harem peered a curious face, a feminine face, as you might imagine! Strangers in the palace of the Sultan of Selangor are a novelty, and the lady was evidently as curious about us as we, I must admit, were about her. Was she one of the 72-year-old Sultan’s several wives? We wondered.
While the Kangaroo was at Port Swettenham it was my good fortune to be permitted to see the handsome palace of His Highness the Sultan of Selangor, a fine building set on the crest of a green sloped hill at Klang, five miles from Port Swettenham.
One can’t help feeling a little flattered as a handsome, bearded Sikh slopes his bayoneted rifle and salutes at the entrance to the palace. And the surprise of this martial courtesy is still on you as you cross the cool, fern laden verandahs and enter the throne room. Even a man cannot repress a gasp of wonder at this exhibition of Oriental color and pomp. Against a glittering background stands the Sultan’s throne, richly ornamented and brilliantly colorful. Flanking it are the seats for the Resident, the High Commissioner and other dignitaries, all their chairs being richly upholstered in a vivid gold satin. Standing on the marble floor, I glanced round this big, luxurious room, and it was then that my eye caught a shadow behind the veil that my smiling Malay guide informed me in his perfect English was the entrance to the harem. Theshadow took more definite shape, a feminine head peered round the edge of the veil. I almost winked.
The Sultan was not home that afternoon. From this beautiful room we looked through the dining hall (where the photos of the King and Queen of England are displayed on the walls), the sitting room, where the Sultan sits with his wives—-but not always all together-—and then strolled down the slope to see the finest mosque in all Malaya.
Mirror, 23 December 1933, p. 4
The Sultan, who succeeded his father, who died a few months ago, will be crowned In the old palace at his capital, Klang. The Government suggested that a new palace be built before the coronation, but this will be held up until the revenues of the State increase.
Truth, 4 December 1938, p. 21