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Kampung Selama or previously known as Kampung Selamat was opened by Encik Abdul Karim bin Raja Aman Shah on 22nd January, 1870 Masihi (14hb Muharram 1290 Hijrah). Abdul Karim was from Sumatera. Before this, Abdul Karim was working as a peon with Orang Kaya Menteri Larut, Long Jaafar and was later promoted as a clerk. In 1858, Ngah Ibrahim replaced his father as Orang Kaya Menteri Larut. Encik Abdul Karim continued working with Ngah Ibrahim and later requested his permission to open a new village in North Larut. His request was approved by Ngah Ibrahim.

Before the arrival of Encik Abdul Karim to this district, there was already a village by the river about 10 km from Pekan Selama which was known as Kampung Sungai Bayor. This village was inhabited by the Malays from Pattani.

Encik Abdul Karim and his group took a ride on a sampan on Sungai Kerian and stopped by a place called Tanjong Medan (now known as Kampung Medan). They then moved to Kampung Selamat located between Jalan Sir Chulan and Kampung Gudang. The name of the village was then changed to Kampung Selama. After tin was discovered (which was behind the current Selama District Office), Encik Abdul Karim invited the Rawa people from Sumatera and the Chinese to Selama to work in the tin mine there.

Encik Abdul Karim used to form a guard team to protect the tin-miners and his tin-mine. The tin was mined using the pan and drill pump methods. The tin ore was turned into ingots and sold in Nibong Tebal by using the river route. When the sale of tin declined, Encik Abdul Karim gave Kampung Selama to the British in 1888. The village was then developed by the British

Encik Abdul Karim had also been elected in the State Government Meeting Council (State Council) under the rule of Raja Yusuf. Encik Abdul Karim passed away in 1892 and was buried at the cemetery near the Selama Old Mosque.