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.
Unfortunately, the enthusiasm of the teachers and organisers were
never sustained over a period of more than a few years. The classes
were not regular, teachers failed to attend classes, financial
problems surfaced and finally the classes were closed. SMC learnt
lessons from the past efforts of these well-meaning, socially
conscious Indians who made attempts but did not succeed in achieving
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
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.