Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Malaysian Public Works Department

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Formed  1872
Headquarters  Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysian Public Works Department
Parent department  Ministry of Works Malaysia

The Malaysian Public Works Department (Malay: Jabatan Kerja Raya Malaysia), abbreviated JKR, is the federal government department in Malaysia under Ministry of Works Malaysia (MOW) which is responsible for construction and maintenance of public infrastructure in West Malaysia and Labuan. In Sabah and Sarawak, a separate entity of Public Works Department exists under respective state government's jurisdiction but both departments are also subordinate to the parent department at the same time.



For more than 100 years, the Public Works Department (PWD) Malaysia has touched many aspects of the nation's life by providing necessary infrastructure, such as roads and water supply systems. The Public Works Department (PWD) was born in 1872 with Major J.F.A McNair as the first head of the organization.

The events that lead to the formation of PWD began earlier than 1872 when the British East India Company - trading between England, India, and China - needed a safe station for refitting their ships. They found it in Penang. Penang was well positioned for their purpose. In 1786, they persuaded the Sultan of Kedah to give up the rights of the island to the company. They managed to get Penang in 1791 through a treaty. In 1825, through the Anglo-Dutch Treaty, Malacca reverted to the British in exchange for Bencoolen. Raffles, in 1819, entered into a treaty with Sultan Hussein and Temenggong Abdul Rahman giving the British the rights to establish settlements in Singapore. These three territories (Penang, Malacca, and Singapore) formed the Straits Settlement in 1826.

Another reason that brought the British to settle in the region was because of the tin-rich and fertile cultivation land in many of the Malay States. The so-called Pangkor Treaty (1874) paved the way for the British influence in Malay States. During this year, they managed to make inroad into Perak, Selangor, and Negeri Sembilan. They posted their Residents and Subordinate Officers to advise the Malay rulers. Later, Pahang also accepted this residential system of government. By 1896, the system was administered centrally with Kuala Lumpur as the seat of authority. The four states together with Kuala Lumpur was known as the Federated Malay States. (taken from JKR Malaysia website :

Building Branches (Cawangan Bangunan)

The JKR's Building Branches is responsible for building and maintaining government buildings in Malaysia such as public government offices, schools, hospitals, police and army facilities, port and airports etc. It consists of:-

  1. General Building Works Branch (Cawangan Kerja Bangunan Awam)
  2. Health Works Branch (Cawangan Kerja Kesihatan)
  3. Security Works Branch (Cawangan Kerja Keselamatan)
  4. Education Works Branch (Cawangan Kerja Pendidikan)
  5. Airport and Maritime Works Branch (Cawangan Kerja Penerbangan Udara dan Maritim)

Road Branch (Cawangan Jalan)

The JKR's Roads Branch is responsible for building and maintaining roads in Malaysia, such as federal roads, state roads, bridges, interchanges, etc.

Slope Engineering Branch (Cawangan Kejuruteraan Cerun)

The JKR's Slope Engineering Branch is responsible for monitoring and maintaining all slopes in Malaysia.

Electrical Branch (Cawangan Kejuruteraan Elektrik)

The JKR's Electrical Branch is responsible for installing, maintaining and wiring electrical components such as the installation of street lights and traffic lights on roads, electrical wiring for government buildings, etc.

Mechanical Branch (Cawangan Kejuruteraan Mekanikal)

The JKR's Mechanical Branch is to maintain machinery and mechanical construction for the department.

Water Works Branch (Cawangan Kerja Air)

The JKR's Water Works Branch is responsible for the planning, development, operation and maintenance of water supply services.

Military Works Branch (Cawangan Kerja Tentera)

The JKR's Military Works Branch is responsible for the construction and maintains all military bases and facilities in either Army, Navy, Air Force, Police and Maritime Enforcement Agency.

List of JKR infrastructures

  • Federal roads
  • State roads
  • Public hospitals
  • Public schools
  • Public government buildings
  • References

    Malaysian Public Works Department Wikipedia