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Seremban History, Malaysia

The capital city of the state of Negeri Sembilan in Malaysia is Seremban. Earlier this area was known as Sungai Ulong. When tin was discovered in peninsular Malasia, Seremban was one of the many cities that started to build up. As the mining industry set up, huge numbers of Chinese, Arab and Malay immigrants came and settled in and around Seremban.

 Seremban developed into an important business center. It became an affluent city with the collected tax and the revenues of tin export. This displeased the British colonialists who were settled in the neighboring port of Malacca. British intervention became easy when the local chieftains, Dato' Kelana and Dato' Shahbandar started dispute between themselves on tax collection and control of mines.

Dato' Kelana defeated Dato' Shahbandar with help from the British. Dato' Shahbandar was later exiled in Singapore. Dato' Kelana had to allow the settlement of a British Resident, whose job was to advise him on various issues. Captain Murray was the first Resident.

Seremban seems to have got its name from a traditional Chinese pastime 'sarimban'. In this game, small pebbles are thrown into the air and then the back of the palm is used to catch them. This was a popular game with the Chinese, who played the game near Seremban Railway Station.

 In 1896, Negeri Sembilan became a federated state of Malaysia. Seremban was chosen the capital of the state at this time. It was the administrative, agricultural and trading center of the state. The Resident headed a local authority, named the Health Board, which controlled the city of Seremban before the Japanese occupation.

Seremban grew into a fully fledged city after the second World War. A new board, the Seremban Town Board was formed to take care of the administrative requirements of the city. The Seremban Town Board was operative until 1953, after which it was given an uplift once again and named as the Seremban Town Council.

With the advent of the Town Council Seremban was categorized into electoral constituencies, namely, Temiang, Lake Area, Rahang and Lobak. In 1976, the Town Council was upgraded again to the status of municipality and known as Seremban Municipality Council. The Menteri Besar was the topmost post of the Council.

In 1988, the Malaysian Cabinet decided to allocate the chairmanship of local Governments to a senior civil servant. The system is prevalent until date.  

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