Prior to March 1961, there were two professional bodies representing surveyors, The Malayan Institution of Surveyors (the former R.I.C.S Federation of Malaya Branch) and the Institution of Land Surveyors. History for surveyors was made on the March 13, 1961, when these two bodies met at the Boardroom of the Royal Selangor Club resolved to form then The Institution of Surveyors (Federation of Malaya).
The meeting elected Mr. Khoo Soo Guan (President), Mr. W.G. Wicks (Vice-President), Mr. Yap Thean Ee (Hon. Secretary) and Mr. R.H Norris (Hon. Treasurer) as the first Committee. On 2nd December 1961 , the Inaugural General Meeting was held at the Shell Theatrette in Kuala Lumpur . 38 Fellows and members attended the meeting. The First Council Meeting of the Institution was held on 14 th December 1961 at the Conference Room, Survey Headquarters, Mountbatten Road . At the E.G.M held on 19 th June, 1966 , the name of the Institution was changed to the Institution of Surveyors, Malaysia.
The first issue of the ‘Surveyors Quarterly Gazette’ was dispatched to members on 23 rd January 1965 . It contained 18 pages and one article. In 1971, the name of the journal was changed to ‘The Surveyor’ and it was changed again to ‘The Malaysian Surveyor’ with the publication of the 1 st Quarter 1999. ISM held its very first professional examinations from 10 th December – 14 th December, 1974 . An important milestone was reached on 19 th June 1976 when Y.B. Dato’ Asri Hj. Muda, the Minister of Lands and Mines laid the Foundation Stone of the ISM Building at a ceremony witnessed by many senior members of the Institution. On 22 nd March 1977, the building was completed and was officially handed over.