Kuala Lumpur, fondly known as KL, is the excellent showcase of a concerted effort by the Malaysians in building a capital city that truly reflects its people’s ambition and resourcefulness. From the modest beginning of a small town for tin mining, the city has developed into a huge metropolis today. Naturally resurrected from the confluence of the rivers Klang and Gombak, the city is also a cultural confluence of Ethnic Malays, Chinese prospectors, Indian migrants, and British colonials, who shaped it as a truly cosmopolitan city. For a cultural/history buff what could be more rewarding than experiencing such a mosaic of cultures under the sun! One of the most important economic nerve centers in South-east Asia, Kuala Lumpur is the powerful engine that has driven the Malaysian dream to dizzying heights, which is evident from the remarkable construction of the iconic Petronas Tower that signifies the Malaysian success story. Located in the southwest of the Malaysian Peninsula, this amazing city is one of the three Federal Territories of Malaysia. Apart from being a center for international trade and commerce it also attracts multitude of tourists. Know the city better by reading some of the interesting facts that make Kuala Lumpur a city that defines truly Asia!
State/Region: Federal Territory
Language(s) Spoken: Bahasa Malaysia and English
Demonym: KL-ite / Kuala Lumpurian
Area: 243 sq. km
Population: 1,627,172 (2010)
Interesting And Fun Facts About Kuala Lumpur
- The word Kuala Lumpur has been derived from Malay language which means “muddy confluence”.
- In a race to control the lucrative tin production in Kuala Lumpur, early Chinese settlers formed gangs to have power over the mining. Two of the most notorious and dominant gangs were the Hakka-dominated Hai San gang and the Hokkien-dominated Ghee Hin gang. These two factions used to engage in frequent gang warfare in a bid to control tin production.
- Kuala Lumpur remained under the occupation of Japanese from 11th January 1942 until 15th August 1945, when Japanese forces surrendered to the British following the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- Kuala Lumpur faced various problems like, Selangar Civil War, epidemics, floods, and fires, during its early days.
- Yap Ah Loy, the third Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur, worked diligently to rebuild Kuala Lumpur into a booming mining town.
- The major roads, including Ampang Road, Pudu Road, and Petaling Street that connect the city with tin mines were also developed by Kapitan Yap Ah Loy. He spent a sum of $20,000 for the construction of roads.
- Kuala Lumpur, the largest city of Malaysia, achieved the status of a city in 1972.
- Kuala Lumpur was declared a federal territory in February 1974. Prior to the declaration, it was under the rule of Selangor State Government.
- People of Kuala Lumpur are known as KLites.
- The tropical rainforest climate of Kuala Lumpur brings abundant rainfall during the northeast monsoon season, resulting in frequent floods.
- Kuala Lumpur has been rated as alpha world city as it is one of the important nodes in the global economic system.
- The major field of business practiced in Kuala Lumpur are: real estate, insurance, finance, media, and the arts of Malaysia
- The service sector including finance, utilities, real estate, transport, business services, wholesale and retail trade, storage and communication, insurance, restaurants and hotels, personal services and government services employs 80% of the KLites.
- The 1998 Commonwealth Games were hosted by Kuala Lumpur.
- Kuala Lumpur, ranked as the sixth most visited city in the world, attracted 8.94 million tourists in 2008.
- City’s cultural diversity, historical attractions, avant-guard technology, and low cost lifestyle are the main reasons that drive tourism.
- Merdeka Square, the House of Parliament, the National Museum,the National Palace (Istana Negara), the Central Market, the Petaling Street, the Kuala Lumpur Tower, the National Monument,the Jamek Mosque and Batu Caves are some of the major tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur.
- Kuala Lumpur is also one of the host cities for the Formula One World Championship. The open-wheel auto racings the A1 Grand Prix and the Motorcycle Grand Prix are held in the Sepang International Circuit in Selanger.
- The KL Tower, in Kuala Lumpur is the seventh tallest telecommunication tower in the world after Tokyo Sky Tree in Japan. It is also the tallest tower in South-east Asia.
- The Istana Negara is the official residence of the Malaysian monarch Yang di-Pertuan Agong; the palatial complex covers around 13 acres or 50,000 meter square area.
- Kuala Lumpur is the home to the Parliament of Malaysia.
- The recent economic boom in Kuala Lumpur has attracted many illegal migrations of prospective low skilled laborers from Indonesia, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Vietnam.
- Over the years, birth rates in Kuala Lumpur have declined, leading to a decrease in the population of the young KLites, below 15 years of age.
- Kuala Lumpur is the most populous city in Malaysia.
- The city of Kuala Lumpur has diverse population that includes Chinese, Indian, Eurasians, Kadazans, Ibans, and other indigenious groups from East Malaysia.
- Islam being the predominant religion of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur city wears a distinctive Islamic identity with Moorish architecture and Islamic way of life.
- Kuala Lumpur city has the highest literacy rate in Malaysia.
- Compared to other Southeast Asian capitals like Bangkok, Jakarta, and Manila, Kuala Lumpur is relatively younger and therefore the construction of its colonial buildings started towards the end of 19th and early 20th century.
- The construction of famous Petronas Towers completed in 1998 and they remained at the first position as world’s tallest building for 6 years, until the Taipei 101 was built in 2004. One of the twin towers was build by the Japanese (Hazama Corp) while the other was build by the Koreans (Samsung).
- The Japanese made tower of the Petronas structures has a construction fault of 25mm tilt while the tower made by Koreans is absolutely leveled.
- Kuala Lumpur was ranked 48th among global cities by the Foreign Policy’s 2010 Global Cities Index.
- In 2010, the 2thinknow Innovation Cities Index ranked Kuala Lumpur 67th among global cities for economic and social innovation.