Kuala Lumpur ~ A Brief History
The vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur as it is today began in 1857 as Chinese tin
mining settlement. Despite pestilence that killed a large number of them,
more Chinese miners arrived, attracting merchants and businesses.
Considered as the founding father of Kuala Lumpur, Yap Ah Loy with the support of the local sultan, built prisons and quelched revolts, quickly establishing an infamous reign over the entire Kuala Lumpur mining area. Kuala Lumpur was made capital of Selangor in 1880, mainly due to Kapitan Yap's success.
Loy had barely established control, however, when the Malay Civil War broke
out with local sultans fighting for the throne of Perak. KL being swept up
in the conflict, was burnt to the ground in 1881
Clarke gathered the feuding princes aboard his ship off the island of Pangkor, and convinced them to sign a document known as the 'Pangkor Agreement'. The Agreement ended the war, established a new Sultan of Perak, and most significantly, called for the presence of a British Resident "who must be asked and acted upon on all questions other than those touching Malay religion and custom.
With Kapitan Yap's able leadership, that Kuala Lumpur became Selangor's
biggest city. He rebuilt Kuala Lumpur, which was devastated by the Civil War
and repopulated it with Chinese miners from elsewhere in Selangor. He also
encouraged Malay farmers to settle near Kuala Lumpur in order to have a
steady and accessible source of food.
Most of central KL has
grown without any central planning whatsoever, so the streets in the older
parts of town are extremely narrow, winding and congested. The architecture
in this section is a unique colonial type, a hybrid of European and Chinese
Kuala Lumpur came of age in 1974, when it was formally detached from its mother state of Selangor and made into a unit of its own called the Federal Territory.
Today, Kuala Lumpur is the federal capital and most populous city in Malaysia covering an area of 243 square km (94 sq mi) with an estimated population of 1.6 million. KL, as it is almost always called, is modern and fast moving city, a thriving metropolis that leads the nation's fast paced development.
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