History of Kuala Lumpur
The History of Kuala Lumpur, or KL as it is affectionately known, is that of a dynamic capital city of the Federation of Malaysia.
Kuala Lumpur has a fascinating history, rising from its birth as a tin mining settlement, to the vibrant, fast-paced city it is today. It's origins date back to the early 1800's, when tin was discovered on the Sungai Klang and Gombak (previously Sungai Lumpur) rivers.
Chinese workers were sent by Raja Abdullah, The Malay Chief of Klang, with orders to create new and bigger mines and later, Pudu and Batu also saw tin mines opened. Kuala Lumpur was a wild frontier town, constantly suffering disasters such as floods, disease and fires, as well as the Selangor Civil War (1870 - 73).
In 1880, the state capital of Selangor was moved from Klang to Kuala Lumpur because of its strategic location. Unfortunately, no evidence of this time period remains, as all the houses and buildings were made from wood and atap (thatch) and were destroyed by fire and /or the flood of 1881.
The town began its recovery, benefiting from help by the British Resident Frank Swettenham, who stipulated that all structures should be built using bricks and tiles. His assistance greatly helped with its development and the town also benefited from the introduction of the railway, which increased its accessibility.
The Federated Malay States had been newly formed and in 1896, Kuala Lumpur was chosen as its capital. It was inhabited by a multi-cultural population, with different groups settling in different areas of the town.
Market Square, which is east of Sungai Klang, became the commercial centre for the whole town. The Malays headed North, across Jalan Tun Perak (formerly Java Street) and this area also became home to a number of Indian Chettiars (money-lenders). Later, businesses were also set up in this area by Indian Muslim Traders. The Chinese frequented Market Square, as well as moving south into Chinatown, while the British administration could be found to the West, in Merdeka Square (formerly the Padang).
Kuala Lumpur endured 2 World Wars, not to mention the demise of the rubber and tin industries. There was also a State of Emergency which lasted 12 years, in which Malaya was preoccupied with the communist insurgency (1948 - 60).
Reading the History of Kuala Lumpur, you'll note that The Federation of Malaysia gained its independence from British rule in 1957 and achieved city status in 1972, remaining the capital throughout the formation of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur was finally established as the Federal Territory in 1974.
Kuala Lumpur has been described as being a young, modern city of the times, enticing visitors to a fascinating world of excitement and discovery. KL also has a reputation for leading the way, especially in the development some of the country's most important sectors such as trade and commerce, banking and finance, transportation, manufacturing, I. T. and tourism.
KL has a central location, situated on the West coast of Peninsular Malaysia, lying approximately 35km from the coast. Getting to Kuala Lumpur is easy and with late deals from over 40 international airlines, it attracts visitors from all around the world. I hope you've enjoyed reading this brief History of Kuala Lumpur.
Go to the top of this History of Kuala Lumpur page
What do you love about Kuala Lumpur?
What's the #1 thing that you love. And what's your # 1 thing you hate about Kuala Lumpur? Share with us your kudos and complaints about Kuala Lumpur.
If you find this page helpful please recommend it by clicking on these buttons: