Kuala Lumpur History

Kuala Lumpur’s origin can be traced back to the year 1857 when eighty seven Chinese tin miners settled near the confluence of the rivers Gombah and Klang. Despite the jungle area being malaria infested, the community flourished in the area. There was huge demand for tin those days especially by British Empire and America as they required lightweight, durable material to fuel the industrial revolutions. Tin prospectors started arriving at the place and named it ‘muddy confluence’ or Kuala Lumpur as the Malayans used to call it. Chaos soon started throughout the communities as everyone fought for their share of the precious material. However, in the year 1868, Yap Ah Loy was elected by the local clans as leader of Chinese people who is presently known as founding father of Kuala Lumpur. But, some are of the belief that it is Raja Abdullah who can ideally be described as Kuala Lumpur’s founder as he had already sent miners in the area to search for tin even before the arrival of Yap Ah Loy.

The city suffered different setbacks before its emergence as a rich capital of Asia. Miners started dying of malaria and prospectors started arriving in numbers. The town was soon overrun by lawlessness and Malay Civil War proved devastating for the city. The intervention of the British was the only way that could have saved the city from destruction and devastation. Governor Andrew Clarke was sent by the British government to take care of the situation. After his arrival, he soon gathered feuding princes as well as convinced them towards signing Pangkor Agreement which resulted in ending of the war.

The credit for the rapid growth of the city after that primarily goes to Sir Frank Swettenham, a British representative who initiated the construction of Klang to Kuala Lumpur Railway as well as encouraged use of tile and brick in buildings. The increased British influence in the area led to the development of colonial buildings throughout different parts of the city and paved way for a prosperous and wealthy future for the capital. British Colonialism started taking its effects throughout the city with all the administration and control relying much on British interference.

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