Malacca High School was founded on December 7, 1826. The school emblem is a stylized version of the gateway to A Famosa, the old Portuguese fortress which surrounded a hill near the harbor. Malacca High School is the second oldest school and one of the premier schools in Malaysia. Nowadays, Malacca High School was announced as one of the cluster schools in Malaysia. It is also the birthplace of the Ossydian Bull.
Date and background of establishment
On December 7, 1826, Malacca High School (MHS) was officially established; just after Malacca was made an English colony on March 17, 1824, when the Dutch ceded Malacca to the English after the Bencoolen Treaty in 1824.
Malacca High School is the second oldest government English school in Malaysia.
The establishment of the school was initiated by Mr. Thomas H. Moor who came to Malacca in 1825 on orders by Milne who was one of the educators at the Anglo Chinese College. In his letter dated 4th. January 1825, he stated his wishes to Arundel in London to establish a school. The establishment of the school was also supported by some influential people including James Humphrey, a Superintendent in the London Society’s Mission. The startup of Malacca High School was directly related to the closing of the Dutch-Malay school which was established in January 1819 by Christian missionary during the Dutch reign. The school was closed when Malacca was handed over to the English by the Dutch.
Malacca High School began with the name ‘Malacca Free School’. On 1 August 1878, the name of ‘Malacca Free School’ was changed to ‘Malacca High School’ when the government took over the school from the Christian Mission. The Christian Mission had to hand over ‘Malacca Free School’ to the government because of financial and administrative problems.
Malacca High School was open to all races and religious groups and education was free to all students – the reason why it was named ‘Free’. However, Malacca High School was different from Penang Free School (1816) and Singapore Free School (1823) because these two schools only allow free selection of students but collected fees from the students. On the other hand, Malacca High School’s main objectives was to provide free education to students irrespective of their race, religious backgrounds, colour or creed.
 Locations of Malacca High School
After the establishment of Malacca High School on 7 December 1826, the school was located at Personage House – The current Youth Museum of Malacca. In the history of the school, it moved twice, in 1884 and 1931. The move was caused by the increase in students population.
In 1884, the school shifted to a new building at the former High Court building as the old building was unsuitable for the growing student population. This building was built under the leadership of F.C. Shepberd since 1882 d but can only accommodate 200 students.
The idea of building Malacca High School at the Kubu field was cancelled when the late Tuan Haji Bachee bin Ahmad offered to sell a plot of land to the authorities.
In 1928, the new school premises at Jalan Chan Koon Cheng (the current location) was built, which included the cost of land. The building was equipped with a teachers’ house.
The 2-storey school was constructed by an engineer in the form of the letter E, which symbolises an English School. In 1934, additions were made to the building. The government constructing the quarters of the Boarding Master, car parks and an armoury for weapons storage and a cadet room.
 Early students at MHS
MHS began its history with 18 male students and was open to all races in Malacca. It was also open to all students in the then Malaya.
In 1826, MHS admitted girls for the first time, when 65 girls were registered. However, in 1834, the admission of girls’ students had to be halted when Miss Wallaca who replaced Maria Newell left the school for Canton, China. Since that date, the school did not admit girls because of lack of teaching facilities.
Most of the students originated from Malacca Town and her surrounding areas such as Klebang, Limbongan, Bukit Rambai, Ujong Pasir, Masjid Tanah, Alor Gajah and other districts. Since 1826 until World War II, students’ intake seldom reached 500 students except in 1907 when the student population reached 505. After the war, the school expanded. Today, MHS has a student enrolment of 2000 students.
The hostel of MHS were built in 1924 and the Principal was Mr. C.G. Coleman. It could only accommodate 60 students. In 1972, the Ministry of Education introduced the Student’s Special Programme (Pelajar Rancangan Khas). Students in Malacca who achieved good results in the Standard Five Evaluation Test (Penilaian Darjah Lima) were placed in MHS. There were 80 students who were placed in this programme.
In 1975, the old hostel was demolished to make way for the building of the school’s hall. The new hostel was built at the back of the school compound and named Special Programme Hostel (Asrama Rancangan Khas). The hostel’s population was 118 students. Another hostel building was built in 1983. The students who enrolled in the hostel at that time numbered 300. The hostel facilities include the mosque, a restroom, a clinic, an air-conditioned library, an AV room, a cyber cafe, a dining hall and a VIP hall.
The hostel was named the MHS Boys’ Hostel (Asrama Putera Sekolah Tinggi Melaka) in 1985 and was renamed Tan Sri Datuk Wira Abdul Rahman Arshad Hostel, after the former Director – General of Education, who was an MHS student from 1948 until 1956.
 School field
From 1975 to 1979, a school field expansion project was undertaken by the Public Works Department (Jabatan Kerja Raya) to an area covering about 5 acres (20,000 m2). This expansion has made the field the largest school field in Malacca. It has two football/rugby fields, running track, an indoor hockey turf, a basketball court and a tennis court.
 School hall
In 1974, the school hall project was approved by the Ministry of Education. It was cancelled, then the school authorities appealed for extra budget because the school needed a larger hall to accommodate the increasing amount of students.
With the initiative taken by the school’s Board of Governors, teachers and the Parents – Teachers Association (PTA), the school organized a “Walkathon” in September 1977 to get donations from the public. From the donations, the PTA, the Board of Governors as well as Malacca High School Old Boys’ Association (MAHSOBA), launched the Malacca High School Hall Building Fund. The school hall was built, and opened by the former Governor of Malacca, Tun Syed Zahiruddin bin Syed Hassan al – Haj on 7 March 1981. The hall has four badminton courts.