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The Birth - 1982

The Origins

The Sri Murugan Centre (SMC) was founded in September 24, 1982 by Dato Dr. M. Thambirajah together with a group comprising 48 students of the Tamil Language Society and some lecturers of University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.

From its inception SMC formulated immediate and long-term objectives. SMC's immediate concern was to prepare students for the STPM (Form Six) Examinations. Throughout the late 1970s and early 1980s the performance of Indian students in the STPM Examinations had begun to decline to the extent that there were insufficient adequately qualified Indian students to take up the seats allocated for Indian students in the local varsities.


Since the 1920's middle-class Indian intelligence in Malaysia had recognised the importance of education for the improvement of the community. Social, religious, youth and political bodies has organised tuition classes for Indian children. The teachers were volunteers from the local community and the pupils came from around neighbourhood. The classes were held in either in Tamil schools, temples or the building of the association. The lessons ranged from academic guidance to Tamil language classes to Thevaram sessions. From the outset SMC created an administration that was centralised, structurally closely-knit, tightly coordinated and strictly supervised. Its organisation then, could easily be extended and coordinated nation-wide.

Academically SMC longed to offer the best for students preparing for STPM classes. Each subject was to have 25 lessons. Each lesson was written out by undergraduates and graduates under the supervision of University lecturers and experienced teachers. The lessons were supplemented by tutorials, seminars, model answers, tutorials and seminar packs, analysis from past year question papers, tips on study techniques, a personal study scheme, motivational talks with personalised care and attention.

Conducted any other way, the classes would have been subjected to the individual experience and whims of the teachers. It was conceived from the beginning that there would be run in exactly the same manner academically and administratively.

In brief, the belief of SMC was that if it cannot offer to the Indians something far better than what they are exposed to, then it better not offer anything. Again, SMC set itself the goal of wishing silently to produce results - "We need workers not talkers". SMC prepared the material for the first STPM classes from September, 1982 to April. 1983. In April, 1983, 4 STPM classes were commenced at Petaling Jaya, Sentul, Klang and Seremban. Over the years the centres were expanded throughout the country.

Up till 2004, about 5800 students who have studied in SMC classes have gained admission to local universities. Many more have passed the examinations and obtained promotions in the jobs or have gone overseas to further their studies.