Malaysia’s pulsating capital Kuala Lumpur started out as a tin mining town in 1850s. It developed as a key trading point, particularly during the World War II when the sought after tin and rubber it traded on were in high demand. Kuala Lumpur achieved city status in 1972, becoming the first settlement in Malaysia to be awarded the honour.
Today, the city proper makes up an area of 244 km sq and has an estimated population of 1.8 million. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million and is the fastest growing metropolitan region in the country, in terms of population and economy.
Kuala Lumpur enjoys a diverse mix of different cultures and although a number of different languages are spoken, English is widely used. Unlike the Malaysia in general where Malays are the majority ethnicity, the Chinese are the largest single ethnic group in KL.
Some 10 per cent of the population originated in India and there are substantial communities of various Eurasian groups and peoples indigenous to East and Peninsula Malaysia such as the Kadazans and the Ibans. The blend of different ethnicities, coupled with the fact that the city spent time under both English and Japanese rule, is reflected in the city’s diverse architecture, food and entertainment options.