The Penang Free School. Minority voices have been saying that the old school was a colonial relic best forgotten. But while the school may have been “elitist” in one sense, it was also an avenue for social mobility for many. Photo: SCMP Pictures

How one Malaysian school became a bright spot in colonialism’s dark legacy

N. Balakrishnan celebrates the founding two centuries ago of Southeast Asia’s oldest English school, which gave generations of youth an education not just of the mind, but also of the heart

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The Penang Free School. Minority voices have been saying that the old school was a colonial relic best forgotten. But while the school may have been “elitist” in one sense, it was also an avenue for social mobility for many. Photo: SCMP Pictures
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