Our history in Malaysia

Image: Malaysian Primary School headmasters, visiting Drake Primary School, Bedford during a Study Tour to the UK (c) Bedford Times, July 1974.

The British Council is the United Kingdom's international cultural relations organisation founded in 1934. We have offices in 229 towns and cities in 110 countries and territories worldwide. We have been in Malaysia since 1947.


“British Committee for Relations with Other Countries” was established. The word “Committee” was replaced with “Council” in the same year.


Foreign Office abbreviated the title to “The British Council”


Kuala Lumpur office was established and the British Council was first opened to the public


We moved to Jalan Bukit Aman, on a piece of land granted to us by the Sultan of Selangor. Our office was officially opened by Malaysia’s First Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, in the presence of the Sultan of Selangor on 16 May 1956.


We opened in Kuching.


We opened in Penang.


We opened in Kota Kinabalu.


We opened the British Council Teaching Centre in Kuala Lumpur.


Our office in Bukit Aman, and our Teaching Centre in Wisma Hang Sam, merged and moved to our current premises at Wisma Selangor Dredging, Jalan Ampang. We changed our name to ‘British Council’.


We began opening our Kuala Lumpur centre seven days a week.

October 2010

We started the English Language Teacher Development Project in East Malaysia, under contract from the Ministry of Education, to provide mentoring and support to Malaysian Primary teachers of English.

November 2012

We started the Professional Upskilling of English Teachers project, under contract from the Ministry of Education, to improve language proficiency and classroom methodology for Malaysian teachers of English.