Kuala Lumpur (/ˈkwɑːləˈlʊmpʊər/ or /-pər/; Malaysian pronunciation: [ˈkwalə ˈlumpʊr]), is the federal capital and most populous city inMalaysia. The city covers an area of 243 km2 (94 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 1.6 million as of 2010. Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 6.9 million as of 2010. It is among the fastest growing metropolitan regions in the country, 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 was ranked 48th among global cities by Foreign Policy's 2010 Global Cities Index and was ranked 67th among global cities for economic and social innovation by the 2thinknow Innovation Cities Index in 2010.
Kuala Lumpur is defined within the borders of the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and is one of three Malaysian Federal Territories.It is an enclave 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. In addition, Kuala Lumpur 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.
Kuala Lumpur has its origins in the 1850s, when the Malay Chief of Klang, Raja Abdullah bin Raja Jaafar Raja Abdullah, hired some Chinese labourers to open new and larger tin mines for tin prospectors. The miners landed at the confluence of Sungai Gombak (previously known as Sungai Lumpur, meaning "muddy river") and Sungai Klang (Klang River) to open mines at Ampang, Pudu andBatu. These mines developed into a trading post that became a frontier town.
The tin prospectors settled in Ampang, and formed gangs within themselves. The two largest Chinese gangs, the Hakka-dominated Hai San and the Hokkien-dominated Ghee Hin, frequently engaged in warfare to gain control of tin production in the town. The incessant warfare between the two factions brought tin mine production to a standstill, prompting the British, who ruled Selangor as one of the Federated Malay States at the time, to appoint a Chinese Kapitan (headman) to administer Kuala Lumpur. Hiu Siew, the owner of a mine in Lukut, was elected as the first Kapitan. As one of the first traders to arrive in Ampang (along with Yap Ah Sze), he sold provisions to the miners in exchange for tin.
During the early times, Kuala Lumpur had many problems, including the Selangor Civil War; it was also plagued by diseases and constant fires and floods. Around the 1870s, the third Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur, Yap Ah Loy, emerged as leader, and became responsible for the survival and subsequent systematic growth of this town. He began to develop Kuala Lumpur from a small, obscure settlement into a booming mining town. In 1880, the state capital of Selangor was moved from Klang to the more strategically advantageous Kuala Lumpur.
Tourism plays an important role in the city's service-driven economy. Many large worldwide hotel chainshave a presence in the city. Kuala Lumpur is the sixth most visited city in the world, with 8.9 million tourist per year. Tourism here is driven by the city's cultural diversity, relatively low costs, and widegastronomic 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, the National Monument,and religious sites such as the Jamek Mosque and Batu Caves. 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 the Batu Caves.
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.
Kuala Lumpur alone has 66 shopping malls and is the retail and fashion hub for Malaysia. Shopping in Malaysia contributed RM7.7 billion (USD 2.26 billion) or 20.8 percent of the RM31.9 billion tourism receipts in 2006.
Suria KLCC Sdn Bhd is one of Malaysia's premier shopping destinations due to its location beneath the Petronas Twin Tower
Apart from Suria KLCC, Bukit Bintang district has the highest concentration of shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur. It includes: Pavilion, Fahrenheit 88, Plaza Low Yat, Berjaya Times Square, Lot 10, BB Plaza, Sungai Wang Plaza. Changkat area of Bukit Bintang hosts various cafes, alfresco dining outlets and illegal activities. Bangsar district also has a few shopping complexes, including Bangsar Village, Bangsar Shopping Centre, and Mid Valley Megamall. The Damansara subdivision north-west of Kuala Lumpur, though not in the city-proper, is the home of the only IKEA outlet in the country, and a cluster of locally operated malls like Cathay Multi Screen Cinemas, The Curve with KidZania, Ikano Power Centre and One Utama.
Apart from shopping complexes, Kuala Lumpur has designated numerous zones in the city to market locally manufactured products such as textiles, fabrics and handicrafts. The Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur, commonly known as Petaling Street, is one of them. Chinatown features many pre-independence buildings with Straits Chinese and colonial architectural influences.
In 2000, the Malaysian Ministry of Tourism introduced the mega sale event for shopping in Malaysia. The mega sale event is held three times a year — in March, May and December — during which all shopping malls are encouraged to participate to boost Kuala Lumpur as a leading shopping destination.