What You Need To Know

Kuala Lumpur, officially the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, or more commonly called as KL is the national capital of Malaysia as well as its largest city. The city covers an area of 243 km2 (94 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 1.76 million as of 2016. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million people as of 2013. It is among the fastest growing metropolitan regions in South-East Asia, in terms of population and economy. Kuala Lumpur is the seat of the Parliament of Malaysia. The city was once home to the executive and judicial branches of the federal government, but they were moved to Putrajaya in early 1999. Some sections of the judiciary still remain in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. The official residence of the Malaysian King, the Istana Negara, is also situated in Kuala Lumpur. Rated as an alpha world city, Kuala Lumpur is the cultural, financial and economic centre of Malaysia due to its position as the capital as well as being a key city. Kuala Lumpur is one of three Federal Territories of Malaysia, enclaved within the state of Selangor, on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Since the 1990s, the city has played host to many international sporting, political and cultural events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the Formula One Grand Prix. Kuala Lumpur has undergone rapid development in recent decades. It is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers, which have become an iconic symbol of Malaysia’s futuristic development.

 

Area: 243 km²

Population: Estimate 1.76 Million

Currency

  • The Malaysian ringgit (/ˈrɪŋɡɪt/; plural: ringgit; symbol: RM; currency code: MYR; formerly the Malaysian dollar) is the currency of Malaysia. It is divided into 100 sen (cents). The ringgit is issued by the Bank Negara Malaysia.

Culture

Kuala Lumpur is a hub for cultural activities and events in Malaysia. Among the centres is the National Museum, which is situated along the Mahameru Highway. Its collection comprises artefacts and paintings collected throughout the country. Kuala Lumpur also has an Islamic Arts Museum, which houses more than seven thousand Islamic artefacts including rare exhibits as well as a library of Islamic art books. The museum’s collection not only concentrate on works from the Middle East, but also includes work from elsewhere in Asia, such as China and Southeast Asia. Kuala Lumpur has a Craft Complex coupled with a museum that displays a variety of textile, ceramic, metal craft and weaved products. All the information of the production process are portrayed in diorama format complete with historical facts, technique and traditionally engineered equipment. Among the processes shown are pottery making, intricate wood carving, silver-smithing, weaving songket cloth, stamping batik patterns on cloth and boat making. Royal Selangor has an ultra modern visitor’s centre, which allows tours to be conducted through its pewter museum, gallery and its factory. In its pewtersmithing workshop, “The School of Hard Knocks,” participants are taught to create their own pewter dish using traditional tools and methods. The premier performing arts venue is the Petronas Philharmonic Hall. The resident orchestra is the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), consisting of musicians from all over the world and features regular concerts, chamber concerts and traditional cultural performances. The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) in Sentul West is one of the most established centres for the performing arts, notably theatre, music, and film screening, in the country. It has housed many local productions and has been a supporter of local and regional independent performance artists. One of the highlights in 2006 was the KL Sing Song 2006 music fest, which featured Malaysian singer-songwriters of various cultural backgrounds, from both West and East Malaysia, through two days of performances and workshops. The National Art Gallery of Malaysia is located on Jalan Temerloh, off Jalan Tun Razak on a 5.67-hectare (14.0-acre) site neighbouring the National Theatre (Istana Budaya) and National Library. The architecture of the gallery incorporates elements of traditional Malay architecture, as well as contemporary modern architecture. The National Art Gallery serves as a centre of excellence and trustee of the national art heritage. The Petronas Art Gallery, another centre for fine art, is situated in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC). The Galeri Tangsi near Dataran Merdeka houses exhibitions of works by local and foreign artists. Kuala Lumpur holds the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival annually. Another event hosted annually by the city is the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week, which includes international brands as well as local designers. Kuala Lumpur also is becoming the centre for new media, innovation and creative industry development in the region and hosts the international creative industry event, Kreative.Asia. Kreative.Asia gathers local, regional and international experts in the creative industry who are involved in the creation, development and delivery of interactive content, arts, community and applications. Kuala Lumpur is at the forefront of the convergence of media, art, culture and communications.

 

Economy

Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding urban areas form the most industrialised and economically, the fastest growing region in Malaysia. Despite the relocation of federal government administration to Putrajaya, certain government institutions such as Bank Negara Malaysia (National Bank of Malaysia), Companies Commission of Malaysia and Securities Commission as well as most embassies and diplomatic missions have remained in the city. The city remains as the economic and business centre of the country. Kuala Lumpur is a centre for finance, insurance, real estate, media and the arts of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is rated as an alpha world city, and is the only global city in Malaysia, according to the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC). The infrastructure development in the surrounding areas such as the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at Sepang, the creation of the Multimedia Super Corridor and the expansion of Port Klang further reinforce the economic significance of the city.

A street view of the Old Market Square (Medan Pasar, on Jalan Medan Pesar) in 2007. The square has since been pedestrianised. Bursa Malaysia or the Malaysia Exchange is based in the city and forms one of its core economic activities. As of 5 July 2013, the market capitalisation stood at US$505.67 billion. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Kuala Lumpur is estimated at RM73,536 million in 2008 with an average annual growth rate of 5.9 percent. The per capita GDP for Kuala Lumpur in 2013 is RM79,752 with an average annual growth rate of 5.6 percent. The total employment in Kuala Lumpur is estimated at around 838,400. The service sector comprising finance, insurance, real estate, business services, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels, transport, storage and communication, utilities, personal services and government services form the largest component of employment representing about 83.0 percent of the total. The remaining 17 percent comes from manufacturing and construction. The average monthly household income for Kuala Lumpur was RM4,105 (USD 1,324) in 1999, up from RM3,371 (USD 1,087) four years prior, making it 66% higher than the national average. In terms of household income distribution, 23.5% of households in the city earned more than RM5,000 (USD 1,613) per month compared to 9.8% for the entire country, while 8.1% earned less than RM1,000 (USD 323) a month. Pre-war terraced houses refurbished into restaurants and bars along Tengkat Tong Shin in Bukit Bintang The large service sector is evident in the number of local and foreign banks and insurance companies operating in the city. Kuala Lumpur is poised to become the global Islamic Financing hub with an increasing number of financial institutions providing Islamic Financing and the strong presence of Gulf’s financial institutions such as the world’s largest Islamic bank, Al-Rajhi Bank and Kuwait Finance House. Apart from that, the Dow Jones & Company is keen to work with Bursa Malaysia to set up Islamic Exchange Trade Funds (ETFs), which would help raise Malaysia’s profile in the Gulf. The city has a large number of foreign corporations and is also host to many multi national companies’ regional offices or support centres, particularly for finance and accounting, and information technology functions. Most of the countries’ largest companies have their headquarters based here and as of December 2007 and excluding Petronas, there are 14 companies that are listed in Forbes 2000 based in Kuala Lumpur. Other important economic activities in the city are education and health services. Kuala Lumpur also has advantages stemming from the high concentration of educational institutions that provide a wide-ranging of courses. Numerous public and private medical specialist centres and hospitals in the city offer general health services, and a wide range of specialist surgery and treatment that caters to locals and tourists. There has been growing emphasis to expand the economic scope of the city into other service activities, such as research and development, which supports the rest of the economy of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur has been home for years to important research centres such as the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia and the Institute of Medical Research, and more research centres are expected to be established in the coming years.

 

Governance

Kuala Lumpur was administered by a corporation sole called the Federal Capital Commissioner from 1 April 1961, until it was awarded city status in 1972, after which executive power transferred to the Lord Mayor (Datuk Bandar). Nine mayors have been appointed since then. The current mayor is Mhd Amin Nordin Abdul Aziz, who has been in office since 18 July 2015.

 

Health systems

Healthcare systems. Malaysia is fortunate to have a very comprehensive range ofhealthcare services. The Malaysian government is very committed to its principles of universal access to high-quality healthcare, which the local Ministry of Health offers through a network of nationwide clinics and hospitals.

 

Language

Malay (Bahasa Melayu / بهاس ملايو) Malay is a Malayic language spoken in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand. The total number of speakers of Standard Malay is about 18 million. There are also about 170 million people who speak Indonesian, which is a form of Malay.

 

Local government

The local administration is carried out by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, an agency under the Federal Territories Ministry of Malaysia. It is responsible for public health and sanitation, waste removal and management, town planning, environmental protection and building control, social and economic development, and general maintenance functions of urban infrastructure. Executive power lies with the mayor in the city hall, who is appointed for three years by the Federal Territories Minister. This system of appointing the mayor has been in place ever since the local government elections were suspended in 1970.

 

Tourism

Tourism plays an important role in the city’s service-driven economy. Many large worldwide hotel chains have a presence in the city. One of the oldest hotels is the Hotel Majestic. Kuala Lumpur is the sixth most visited city in the world, with 8.9 million tourists per year. Tourism here is driven by the city’s cultural diversity, relatively low costs, and wide gastronomic and shopping variety. MICE tourism, which mainly encompasses conventions— has expanded in recent years to become a vital component of the industry, and is expected to grow further once the Malaysian government’s Economic Transformation Programme kicks in, and with the completion of a new 93,000m2-size MATRADE Centre in 2014. Another notable trend is the increased presence of budget hotels in the city.

The major tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur include the Merdeka Square, the House of Parliament, the Petaling Street, the National Palace (Istana Negara), the Kuala Lumpur Tower, the National Museum, the Central Market, Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, the National Monument, and religious sites such as the Jamek Mosque. Kuala Lumpur plays host to many cultural festivals such as the Thaipusam procession at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple. Every year during the Thaipusam celebration, a silver chariot carrying the statue of Lord Muruga together with his consort Valli and Teivayanni would be paraded through the city beginning at the temple all the way to Batu Caves in the neighboring Selangor. The entertainment hub of the city is mainly centred in the Golden Triangle encompassing Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Ampang Road. Trendy nightclubs, bars and lounges, such as the Beach Club, Espanda, the Hakka Republic Wine Bar & Restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe, the Luna Bar, Nuovo, Rum Jungle, the Thai Club, Zouk, and many others are located here.

 

Transport

Like most other Asian cities, driving is the main mode of commuting in Kuala Lumpur. Hence, every part of the city is well connected by highways. As capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur has a comprehensive road network that leads to the rest of Peninsular Malaysia. The busy Jalan Ampang at night leading straight to the Petronas Towers. In terms of air connectivity, Kuala Lumpur is served by two airports. The main airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at Sepang, Selangor, which is also the aviation hub of Malaysia, is located about 50 kilometres (31 mi) south of city. The other airport is Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, also known as Subang Skypark and served as the main international gateway to Kuala Lumpur from 1965 until KLIA opened in 1998. KLIA connects the city with direct flights to destinations in six continents around the world, and is the main hub for the national carrier, Malaysia Airlines and low-cost carrier, AirAsia. KLIA can be reached using the KLIA Ekspres a airport rail link service from KL Sentral, which takes twenty-eight minutes, while travelling by car or bus via highway will take about an hour. Air Asia and other low-cost carrier flights do not fly out of KLIA main terminal but from KLIA2 which is two kilometres from KLIA. KLIA2 is served by an extension of the KLIA Ekspres and by buses from KL Sentral. As of 2007, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport is only used for chartered and turboprop flights by airlines such as Firefly and Berjaya Air. Public transport in Kuala Lumpur and the rest of the Klang Valley covers a variety of transport modes such as bus, rail and taxi. Despite efforts to promote usage of public transport, utilisation rates are low as only 16 percent of the population used public transport in 2006. However, public transport utilisation is set to rise with the opening of 2 light metro (LRT) extension lines on 30 June 2016. Rail transport in Kuala Lumpur encompasses the light metro (LRT), monorail, commuter rail and Airport rail link. The LRT system has 2 lines namely, Kelana Jaya Line and Ampang Line, connecting many locations in the city with major suburbs in Greater Kuala Lumpur. The Monorail serves various key locations in the city centre whereas the KTM Komuter runs between the city and the suburbs. The main rapid transit hub is KL Sentral, which is an interchange station for the rail systems. KL Sentral is also a hub for intercity railway service namely KTM Intercity and KTM ETS. It provides rail services to as far as Singapore in the south, and Hat Yai, Thailand, in the north. The rail system in Kuala Lumpur is expanding fast with more train lines due for completion or in the pipeline. By December 2016, the 1st phase of Klang Valley Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) Project, Sungai Buloh-Kajang Line will be completed, providing a more efficient ride around Greater Kuala Lumpur. The largest public transport operator in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley is Prasarana Malaysia via its subsidiaries of Rapid Rail and Rapid Bus using Rapid KL brands service. Since the take over from Intrakota Komposit Sdn Bhd, Prasarana Malaysia has redrawn the entire bus network of Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley metropolitan area to increase passenger numbers and improve Kuala Lumpur’s public transport system. The Prasarana Malaysia has adopted the hub and spoke system to provide greater connectivity, and cut down the need of more buses. In Kuala Lumpur, most taxis have distinctive white and red liveries. Kuala Lumpur is one of the major ASEAN city with taxis extensively running on natural gas. Taxis can be hailed from taxi stands or from the streets. Nevertheless, taxis are known to charge high rates for foreigners. Kuala Lumpur is served by Port Klang, located about 64 km (40 mi) southwest of the city. The port is the largest and busiest in the country handling about 6.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of cargo in 2006.

 

 

Weather

Protected by the Titiwangsa Mountains in the east and Indonesia’s Sumatra Island in the west, Kuala Lumpur has a tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af), which is warm and sunny, along with abundant rainfall, especially during the northeast monsoon season from October to March. Temperatures tend to remain constant. Maximums hover between 32 and 33 °C (90 and 91 °F) and have never exceeded 38.5 °C (101.3 °F), while minimums hover between 23.4 and 24.6 °C (74.1 and 76.3 °F) and have never fallen below 14.4 °C (57.9 °F). Kuala Lumpur typically receives minimum 2,600 mm (100 in) of rain annually; June and July are relatively dry, but even then rainfall typically exceeds 131 millimetres (5.2 in) per month. Flooding is a frequent occurrence in Kuala Lumpur whenever there is a heavy downpour, especially in the city centre and downstream areas. Smoke from forest fires of nearby Sumatra sometimes cast a haze over the region. It is a major source of pollution in the city together with open burning, emission from motor vehicles and construction work.

 

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