Perak, one of the 13 states of Malaysia, is the second largest state in the Peninsular Malaysia bordering Kedah and Yala Province of Thailand to the north, Penang to the northwest, Kelantan and Pahang to the east, Selangor the Strait of Malacca to the south and west.
Perak means silver in Malay. The name comes most probably from the silvery colour of tin. In the 1890s, Perak, with the richest alluvial deposits of tin in the world was one of the jewels in the crown of the British Empire. However, some say the name comes from the "glimmer of fish in the water" that sparkled like silver.
The Arab honorific of the State is Darul Ridzuan, the Land of Grace.
Ipoh, the state capital of Perak, is known historically for its tin-mining activities until the drop of tin price, which has severely affected the state economy. The royal capital, however, is set in Kuala Kangsar, where the palace of the Sultan of Perak is located.
Perak was one of Malaysia's wealthiest states during Malaya's colonial period, as much of Malaya's mineral deposits were situated here.
The tin industry here subsequently flourished under the auspices of the British fueled by the ongoing Industrial Revolution then. The global tin industry collapsed in the 1980s, subsequently forcing the closure of many local tin mines concurrently crippling Perak’s economy.
This turn of events led the local state government to diversify the economy's base towards commodity-based manufacturing. The mid-1980s witnessed a large influx of electronics SMEs from Taiwan to Silibin and Jelapang industrial estates, but these have relocated to China in the 1990s as a result of outsourcing. A local auto manufacturing hub called Proton City at Tanjung Malim has been developed with the establishment of state-of-the-art car manufacturing facilities, it is the largest manufacturer of Proton cars. However, the economy has never fully recovered from the decline of the tin industry.
Agriculture is also one of Perak's main industries, especially those concerning rubber, coconut and palm oil. Tourism is a growing industry given the state's abundant natural attractions.
Perak is set to become the second state (after Kelantan) to introduce the gold dinar and silver dirham as official currency.