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Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is one of three Federal Territories in Malaysia. It was ceded to the Federal Government by the Selangor State on 1st February 1974. Labuan, located off the coast of Sabah was declared a Federal Territory on 16th April 1984, and on 1st February 2001, Putrajaya, the new adminstrative hub of the Federal Government was officially declared a Federal Territory.

More than any other spot in the country, Kuala Lumpur, or "KL" as it is commonly known, is the focal point of new Malaysia. While the city's past is still present in the evocative British colonial buildings of the Dataran Merdeka and the midnight lamps of the Petaling Street nightmarket, that past is everywhere met with insistent reminders of KL's present and future. The city's bustling streets, its shining, modern office towers, and its cosmopolitan air project an unbounded spirit of progress and symbolize Malaysia's unhesitating leap into the future. To some, this spirit seems to have been gained at the loss of ancient cultural traditions, but in many ways KL marks the continuation rather than the loss of Malaysia's rich past. Like Malacca five hundred years before, KL's commercial centre is a grand meeting place for merchants and travelers from all over the world.

In the same way, the city brings together Malaysia's past and present, its many constituent cultures, and even its remarkable natural treasures, allowing first-time visitors an invaluable opportunity to see Malaysia as a whole before setting off to explore its parts. In the botanical and bird parks of the Lake Gardens one is treated to a first glimpse of the unsurpassed beauty and variety of Malaysia's plants and animals. In the vibrant Central Market, music, crafts, and cultural practices from Kelantan to Sarawak can be explored and experienced. And in the National Museum, the dizzying multiplicity of Malaysia's cultural history comes into focus. As the entry point for most visitors and the meeting point of the country's many attractions, Kuala Lumpur is a grand gateway to a fascinating destination.


Located at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers, Kuala Lumpur quickly grew into a settlement for early immigrants engaged in the flourishing tin-mining trade in the hinterland. The town was established in 1857, when a group of Bugis tin-miners led by Raja Abdullah landed here. Later, the arrival of Chinese immigrants attracted by the possibility of making their fortunes in the tin trade, brought more development. They were put under the control of Chinese Kapitan or headmen, the most famous of whom is Yap Ah Loy.

In 1870, civil war erupted with the Chinese community being split along partisan lines into the Cantonese Ghee Hin or the Hakka Hai San secret societies. The British were called in to help end the strife but many of the buildings in the settlement were burnt down or severely damaged. The rebuilding of Kuala Lumpur in 1882 is credited to Sir Frank Swettenham, the British Resident of Selangor at the time. He was responsible for the street plan of what is now the older part of Kuala Lumpur City, and some of the landmark colonial heritage buildings were built during his time in office.

Years later, with the formation of the Federated Malay States in 1896, the states of Negeri Sembilan, Perak, Pahang and Selangor were united under a central administration based in Kuala Lumpur. Vast infrastructure improvements followed, with new houses and roadways.

When the country achieved independence in 1957, Kuala Lumpur was declared the capital of the Federation of Malaya and, later, Malaysia in 1963. As the central hub of government and business, the city grew quickly and was given city status in 1972. Kuala Lumpur was declared a federal territory on 1st February 1974.


Kuala Lumpur is situated midway along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, at the confluence of the Klang and Gombek rivers. It is approximately 35 km from the coast and sits at the centre of the Peninsula's extensive and modern transportation network. Kuala Lumpur is easily the largest city in the nation, possessing a population of over one and a half million people drawn from all of Malaysia's many ethnic group.

The Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory flag comprises 14 alternating white and red stripes divided equally by a field of dark blue. The stripes represent the 13 states and the Federal Territory in the Malaysian Federation. The crescent moon and star are the symbols of Islam, the official religion of the country; dark blue represents the ethnic diversity of Kuala Lumpur. The colour white signifies purity and cleanliness, while red stands for courage, and yellow is the colour of peace and prosperity.


Petrona Towers

With a height of 1,453 feet, one of the world's tallest buildings now rises above the skyline of Kuala Lumpur. The twin towers are called the Petronas Towers, and, inevitably, they have become the symbols for the astounding growth that has taken place in Malaysia over the last two decades. As fate would have it, however, their supreme status was shortlived: Shanghai's World Financial Center exceeds this with a world record-breaking 1,508 feet.

Masjid Jamek

The Jamek Mosque is situated at the confluence of the Gombak and Klang Rivers, where the early settlement of Kuala Lumpur began. It is the oldest mosque in Kuala Lumpur and was built by A B Hubback in 1909. The architecture of the mosque was greatly influenced by Moorish design.

Petaling Street

Petaling Street, also known as 'Chinatown', is located in the older section of Kuala Lumpur. The open-air night market in the street is popular with bargain-hunters. Clothing, accessories and local Chinese food can be bought at very reasonable prices here.

National Monument

Located within the Tasik Perdana park not far from the Parliament House, this monument was erected in memory of the nation's heroes who gave their lives during the Emergency period in Malaysian history, following the end of the Second World War. The 15.54 m copper sculpture was designed by sculptor Felix de Weldon and completed in 1966. This is one of the largest freestanding copper sculptures in the world.

National Mosque

The National Mosque is located at the entrance to the Tasik Perdana park, close to the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and Dayabumi. The design combines Islamic, modern and local elements. The open umbrella-shaped dome symbolizes royal patronage, while the 73 m tall minaret resembles a flower bud. The mosque was designed by Baharuddin Abu Kasim and completed on 27 August 1965.

National Museum

Located on Jalan Damansara, close to the Tasik Perdana park, the National Museum was opened in 1963. It has one of the largest collections of historical artefacts in the country. Visitors will be able to trace the roots of Malaysia's rich heritage and development via exhibits on history, culture, natural history, music and sports.

Kuala Lumpur Tower

Located on the Bukit Nanas hill, the Kuala Lumpur Tower (Menara Kuala Lumpur) is the tallest concrete tower in the world; and the fourth tallest telecommunications tower after the CN Tower of Canada, the Ostankino Tower of Russia and the Shanghai Tower of China. Soaring 421 m above ground level, the top four floors of the towerhead are reserved for telecommunications technology.Visitors can go up to the observatory deck for a bird's-eye view of the city. There are also restaurants and shops within the tower. The Kuala Lumpur Tower is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers.

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station was built in 1910. The Moorish architecture of the building was the inspiration of its colonial architect A B Hubback. In 1986, the building was renovated to include modern facilities such as air-conditioning, restaurants, food stalls and a tourist information booth. This is the hub of the railway network. From here, trains travel to various destinations all over Peninsular Malaysia, from north to south on the west coast, and as far as Tumpat on the east coast


Area : 243 square km


: 1,297,526 (2000)

Breakdown of Races (1994)


Non Bumiputera

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