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 History of Kuala Lumpur

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kosovohp
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Registration date : 2010-09-30

PostSubject: History of Kuala Lumpur   Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:39 am

Kuala Lumpur has its origins in the 1850s, when the Malay Chief of Klang, Raja Abdullah,[10] hired some Chinese labourers to open new and larger tin mines for tin prospectors.[11] 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 and Batu. These mines developed into a trading post which became a frontier town.

The tin propectors settled in Ampang,[11] and formed factions within themselves.[12] The two largest factions, the Hakka-dominated Hai San and the Hokkien-dominated Ghee Hin, frequently engaged in warfare to gain control of tin production in the town.[12] The incessant warfare between the two factions brought tin mine production to a standstill, prompting the British, who ruled the Federation of Malaya at that time, to appoint a Chinese Kapitan (headman) to administer Kuala Lumpur.[13] 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.[14]

Early Kuala Lumpur had many problems, including the Selangor Civil War; it was also plagued by diseases and constant fires and floods.[11] 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.[15] In 1880, the state capital of Selangor was moved from Klang to the more strategically advantageous Kuala Lumpur.[16]

In 1881, a flood swept through the town following a fire which engulfed it earlier. These successive problems destroyed the town's structures of wood and atap (thatching). As a response, Frank Swettenham, the British Resident of Selangor, required that buildings be constructed of brick and tile.[16] Many of the new brick buildings mirrored those of shop houses in southern China, characterised by "five foot ways" as well as skilled Chinese carpentry work. This resulted in a distinct eclectic shop house architecture typical to this region. A railway line increased accessibility into the growing town. Development intensified in the 1890s, leading to the creation of a Sanitary Board. In 1896, Kuala Lumpur was chosen as the capital of the newly formed Federated Malay States

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