Selangor - Malaysia
SELANGOR, with an area of approximately
8,000 sq. km, extends along the west coast
of Peninsular Malaysia at the northern outlet of
the Straits of Malacca. Its advantageous geographic position and
rich natural resources have made Selangor the most prosperous state
in Malaysia. Today it has the distinction of being the most populated
state in Malaysia, with about 3.75 million inhabitants. A large
proportion of Selangor's population lives around the Federal Territory
of Kuala Lumpur, though the balance is now shifting towards its
new capital, Shah Alam.
In the late 15th-century Selangor fell under the
dominion of the Malacca Sultanate. The discovery of tin deposits
at the mouth of Klang River in the 15th century was the start of
an influx of miners and immigrants, many of whom were Chinese, who
saw this as a chnace for improved prosperity. The small town that
these people built up was named after the river, Klang. In
1680 Selangor experienced mass immigration by Bugisan ethnic group
from Indonesia, trying to escape Dutch control in their home island
of Macassar. Eventually, the number of Bugis superseded the original
The protection of the Sultan of Malacca until the
16th century saw it flourish until the Bugis who established the
royal Selangor Sultanate, the present sultanate, in 1740, with the
capital at Kuala Selangor.
An influx of Chinese tin miners occurred in the
19th century, bringing with them their community traditions and
social structure, most notably the secret society establishment.
Similar to Perak, rival factions split the Selangor Chinese community.
The situation became tense as the established power structure was
disrupted by the emergence of various petty tin chiefs. However,
the Chinese rivalry did not erupt to full-scale fighting until a
Malay war over royal succession broke out in 1870. The tin trade
came to a standstill. This led to British intervention in 1874.
J.G. Davidson was installed as the first British Resident. By the
middle of the 19th century, Klang, also known as Kelang, had prospered
into a royal town whose strategic location played an integral role
in the development of the state. The quest for riches continued,
spreading further up the Klang River and it eventually leading to
the inception of another settlement, Kuala Lumpur, which literally
means "muddy confluence" in Malay, taken from the muddy
Selangor became a Federated Malay State in 1896.
The tin trade expanded rapidly but during that time there were also
continued struggles among the Malay nobilities, Bugis and Chinese,
this led to the opportunity for the British to step in and take
control, both Klang and Kuala Lumpur continued to thrive well beyond
Malaysia's independence in 1957.
British colonialists in London formed the Malayan
Peninsula Planning Unit in 1943, and on 10th October
1945, the Malayan Union scheme was laid out before the British Parliament.
A day later, Sir Harold MacMichael was sent to the Malayan Peninsula
to obtain the agreement of the Malay Rulers. According to this agreement,
Penang, Malacca and 9 other Malay states were united under the Malayan
Malay opposition groups derailed the Malayan Union
plan, and the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) was formed
under Dato' Onn Jaafar's leadership on 11th May 1946.
The Malay Federation was founded on 1st February 1948
and on 31st August 1957, independence was declared. The
British Military Administration took over the state following the
end of the Japanese Occupation.
Today, while Kuala Lumpur has become the country's
capital, Klang remains home to Port Klang (formerly known
as Port Swettenham), the country's largest port. The success of
the two has also spilled over to other parts of the country, notably
the neighbouring cities of Petaling Jaya and Shah Alam, which are
some 40 kilometres apart.
is divided into four equal-sized sections. The red sections
denote the courage of the people of Selangor while the yellow
sections are representative of the royal status of the head
of state, the Sultan. The crescent moon and star on the
upper left section are the symbols of Islam, the official
religion of the state.
is an interesting amalgam of items that represent courage
and royalty. The crescent moon and star in the centre represents
Islam, the official religion. The central red spear, the
Sambu Warna, the sword on the right, the Keris
Pendek and the sword on the left, the Keris Panjang,
are part of the state's Royal Regalia. The Jawi calligraphy
in red reads the state's motto, 'Under the Protection of
Allah'. A tali bengkung or broad belt worn by warriors
of the state in ancient times appears below the motto.
The Petaling district is one of the nine that
have made Selangor the most developed and prosperous of the Malaysian
states. While Selangor itself has a long history, the birth of
Petaling Jaya (known as PJ among the locals) did not come
about until the early 1950s.
To overcome the problems of accomodation for
workers in Kuala Lumpur a new town was created by the British
administration. The migration from Kuala Lumpur to the Petaling
area started before the town was officially named in 1953 as Petaling
Jaya. With the literal meaning of jaya being success, the
new town was prophetically named. It started with low-cost wooden
houses built by people whose livelihood was to be found in the
capital. This little pekan (town in Malay), was the predecessor
of what was to be known as "PJ Old Town". The name remains
today and it now includes Seksyen 1, 2 and 3 of PJ.
The satellite town began to take shape by 1952
when 1,000 houses were under construction. Rubber and oil palm
plantations made way for systematic infrastructure development.
By the end of 1957, there were well over 3,200 houses in PJ, along
with more than 100 shops and 28 factories. The year also saw the
opening of the first phase of the Federal Highway (Lebuhraya Persekutuan)
which divided PJ into two. Linking Kuala Lumpur, PJ and Port Klang,
it enhanced PJ's reputation as a strategically located town, particularly
in the eyes of industrialists and the affluent searching for prime
By 1964 the population had grown to 35,000.
Relentless progress continued and by 1977 it had grown into an
expansive town that included Seksyen 52, the Sungai Way-Subang
(SS) area and the new township of Subang Jaya. Further expansion
to the north later saw the rise of the vast Damansara area, which
includes Bandar Utama, Kota Damansara, Damansara Perdana, Bandar
Sri Damansara and Damansara Impian.
Carved out of an oil palm plantation known as
Sungai Renggam, Shah Alam was officially founded in 1963
as a modern city to succeed Kuala Lumpur, which was then serving
as both the federal capital and the state capital of Selangor.
Being centrally located between Port Klang and Petaling Jaya and
30 kilometres away from Kuala Lumpur, the site was chosen following
a proposal by a United Nations adviser. In 1978 Shah Alam became
the state capital.
The Kota Darul Ehsan
The Kota Darul Ehsan arch is one of the most
distinguished landmarks in Selangor. The gateway to Selangor is
symbolised by this arch. Located along the Federal Highway and
incorporating Moorish architecture, the arch creates a spellbinding
effect to travelers on the highway in the evening with its illumination
of royal gold colours in the evening.
Shah Alam Mosque
Located in Shah Alam, this state mosque stands
majestically on 36 acres of scenic landscaped gardens and parkland.
Designed by the present Sultan, it is the largest mosque in South
East Asia with the tallest minarets (142.3m) in the world. The
dome measures 190ft in diameter and the walls, and surfaces, are
inlaid with exquisite calligraphic writing is verses from the
Quran designed by eminent Egyptian Calligraphist.
In Klang, a towering silver Keris greets visitors
to the state. The monument erected to celebrate the Silver Jubilee
of the Sultan of Selangor installation in 1985. This memorial
was specially designed to depict the Keris Semenanjung that symbolises
power, strength and unity.
Selangor State Monument
Located adjacent to the Selangor State Secretariat
building in Shah Alam, this lovely and serene monument with a
sweeping arch, reflecting pools and gold inscriptions is a favourite
destination for visitors. The annual Warrior's Day Ceremony (Selangor
State level) is held here to honour the memory of those who were
sacrificed in the service and defence of the country.
Putra Mosque - Putrajaya
Putrajaya is Malaysia's new, and futuristic,
administrative capital containing within it the enthralling, and
imposing, structure of Putra Mosque. The mosque, named after the
first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Alhaj,
is located beside Dataran Putra fronting the scenic Putrajaya
Lake. Almost wholly surrounded by water, Putra Mosque is well
positioned to take in the fresh and cool air from the lake. The
mosque also affords a breathtaking view of the lake as well as
the Putra Bridge and the Prime Minister's Complex.
Dong Zen Institute of Buddhist Studies
Dong Zen Institute of Buddhist Studies was officially
recognised as a tourist spot promoting religious tourism in September
1999. With this official recognition, the institute has embarked
on a series of ambitious plans to further develop the monastery
into a popular tourist destination to bring in more visitors to
the state, in particular to the district of Klang and Kuala Langat.
Covering an area of 14 acres, Dong Zen has amongst others, a meditation
hall with the shrine of Buddha, statues of other Buddhist deities
and stands in beautiful surroundings. The institute plans to build
some dormitories and chalets to accommodate devotees and selected
public for a night or weekend stay, away from the hustle and bustle
of city life. Among its other plans are to set up an institute
of higher learning for less fortunate students and to allocate
about three acres of land for organic farming, a vegetarian cafe
as well as an exhibition centre. It was constructed in 1989 and
is renowned for its beautiful structures and serene environment.
This non-profit organisation not only promotes the Buddhist faith
but also puts a lot of emphasis on education and culture, day-to-day
living and human relationship.
The Batu Caves are located in Gombak district
and are an ecological wonder. The caves are 15km North of Kuala
Lumpur and consist of three main caves and a number of smaller
ones. The Temple Cave has a 100m high ceiling, which features
elaborate, ornate, Hindu shrines, and can be reached by climbing
the 272 steps built specially to scale the steep, jagged face
of the limestone outcrop. During the Thaipusam festival, Batu
Caves hosts the largest gathering of Hindu devotees in Malaysia.
Thaipusam is a religious festival where Hindus pay annual homage
to to Lord Muruga. The highlight of this celebration is the kavadi
procession and approximately one hundred thousand people throng
Batu Caves for this celebration. Batu Caves is located 13 km from
Kuala Lumpur's business district.
Orang Asli Museum (Aboriginal Museum)
Located approximately 24km North-East from Kuala
Lumpur, this museum provides an insight into the culture of orang
asli, the indigenous people of Peninsular Malaysia. Presently,
the orang asli lead a simple and fascinating lifestyle, especially
in the rural areas. The museum contains a 600-year old collection
of tribal heritage that includes blow pipes, spears, porcelain
and ancestral figurines.
Bukit Melawati is located in Kuala Selangor.
Besides offering a panoramic view of the Selangor coast and the
Klang Valley, this landscaped hill has a rich historical background
as seen by the various historical attractions. These include the
Altingsburg Lighthouse, the Royal Mausoleum, the ruined Fort Melawati,
the legendary 100 steps and a fabled execution-block. This hill
has rich historical background, especially its fort that was built
by local Malays during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim, the second
Sultan of Selangor (1778-1826). The historical background to the
fort began with the downfall of the East India Dutch Company after
the fourth Dutch-English War (1780-1784). When the Dutch influence
became weak, Selangor, backed by Johor and Riau, invaded Malacca,
which was also under the Dutch rule, but the raid failed. The
Dutch in return then invaded Selangor and conquered Kuala Selangor
in July 1784. During the invasion, Fort Melawati collapsed but
was reconstructed and renamed Fort Altingsburg, after the Dutch
Governor General Alting. On 28 June 1785 Sultan Ibrahim recaptured
the fort. From that date, until the British intervention in 1874,
this fort has been fought over, and served as a battlefield, in
several other wars. Bukit Melawati is now a landscaped hill that
offers a panoramic view of the Selangor coastline. Its lush raintrees
afford an ideal resting area. Loacted here are also various remnants
of ancient folklore such as the Batu Hampar (execution block)
which legend has it, was used to execute an innocent virgin girl
accused of infidelity.
Located just off the mainland, Carey Island in
the Kuala Langat district is well known for its orang asli or
indigenous community of the Mah Meri tribe. This tribe is concentrated
at the Bumbun River and is famed for its wood carvings. The Mah
Meri craftsmen find subjects for their artistic expression through
the ancestral spirits they worship. Apart from producing sculpture,
the Mah Meri also perform unique traditional dances and music
during special occasions.
||7,955 square km
| State Capital
| Royal Town
Namely:- Gombak, Klang, Kuala Langat, Kuala Selangor, Petaling,
Sabak Bernam, Sepang, Ulu Langat and Ulu Selangor
Breakdown of Races (1995)