The history of Kuala Lumpur dates back to 1850s. Check out the history & origin of the capital of Malaysia.

History of Kuala Lumpur

The history and origin of Kuala Lumpur dates back to the mid-19th century, when the Malay Chief of Klang, Raja Abdullah, employed some Chinese hands to establish new and larger tin mines. These people congregated at the confluence of Sungai Gombak (previously called Sungai Lumpur) and Sungai Klang (Klang River) to open mines at Ampang. Soon after, tin mines were founded at Pudu and Batu. Some of the early noteworthy pioneers are Hiu Siew and Liu Ngim Kong.

Anon these mines made a trading post, identifying the region as a frontier town. Being the main hub of commercial activities, the region faced many problems including the Selangor Civil War, diseases, constant fires and floods. Around the 1870s, Yap Ah Loy, the Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur, came forward as leader to take the responsibility of the survival and following systematic growth of the town. In the year 1880, Selagor's capital was shifted from Klang to the strategically located Kuala Lumpur

In 1881, the town was swept by a massive flood, followed by a fire. Such consecutive problems destroyed the entire structures of wood and atap (thatching) in the town. In response to this, Frank Swettenham, who was the British Resident of Selangor, contemplated that buildings should be made out of bricks and tiles. Now the people constructed buildings with bricks which resulted into different eclectic shop house architecture. The influx of railways increased accessibility into this town. In the 1890s, major development occurred and a Sanitary Board was created in Kuala Lumpur.

In 1896, the town was chosen as the capital of the newly made Federated Malay States. A jumble of different communities settled in various sections of Kuala Lumpur. The Chinese, largely, settled around the commercial district of Market Square, towards Chinatown. The Malays, Indian Chettiars, and Indian Muslims inhabited along Java Street (now Jalan Tun Perak). On 11 Jan' 1942, Kuala Lumpur was seized by the Japanese army during World War II. They continued to stay until 15 Aug' 1945 when Seishir? Itagaki, the commander-in-chief of the Japanese Seventh Area Army, submitted to the British administration.

Throughout the war Kuala Lumpur grew by leaps and bounds, though rubber and tin commodity crashes and the Malayan Emergency held during the same period. In 1957, the Federation of Malaya got free from the shackles of the British. Kuala Lumpur remained the capital until 16 Sep' 1963 when Malaysia was formed. On 16 May 1969, racial riots cropped up between the Malays and the Chinese who were displeased with the prevailing socio-political situation, in Kuala Lumpur.

This racial riot caused death of 196 people, and led to a major reform in the economic policy of Malaysia. Later, in 1972, Kuala Lumpur achieved the city status and thus became the first official settlement in the country. On 1 Feb' 1974 Kuala Lumpur was officially confiscated from the jurisdiction of Selangor state and declared as the Federal Territory or the economic capital of Malaysia. Over the time, KL has developed into one of the Southeast Asia's most hi-tech and sophisticated cities, drawing visitors from across the world.

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