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Kuala Lumpur

 

Kuala Lumpur is the cultural, financial, and economic centre of Malaysia. It is also home to the Parliament of Malaysia, and the official residence of the Malaysian King (Yang di-Pertuan Agong), the Istana Negara. The city once held the headquarters of the executive and judicial branches of the federal government, but these were relocated to Putrajaya in early 1999. However, some sections of the political bodies still remain in Kuala Lumpur.
It has also been proposed that Kuala Lumpur was originally named Pengkalan Lumpur ("muddy landing place") in the same way that Klang was once called Pengkalan Batu ("stone landing place"), but became corrupted into Kuala Lumpur. Another suggestion is that it was initially a Cantonese word lam-pa meaning 'flooded jungle' or 'decayed jungle'. There is no firm contemporary evidence for these suggestions other than anecdotes. It is also possible that the name is a corrupted form of an earlier but now unidentifiable forgotten name.
The early Chinese and Malay settlements were along the east bank of the Klang River the Chinese mainly settled around the commercial centre of Market Square; the Malays, later Indian Chettiars and Indian Muslims resided in the Java Street (now Jalan Tun Perak) area. In 1880, the state capital of Selangor was moved from Klang to the more strategically advantageous Kuala Lumpur by the colonial administration, and the British Resident William Bloomfield Douglas then decided that the government buildings and living quarters should be located to the west of the river. Government offices and a new police headquarters was built on Bukit Aman, and the Padang was created initially for police training. The Padang, now known as Merdeka Square, would later become the centre of the British administrative offices when the colonial government offices were moved to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in 1897.
Kuala Lumpur had seen a number of civil disturbances over the years. A riot in 1897 was a relatively minor affair that began with the confiscation of faulty dacing (a scale used by traders), and in 1912, a more serious disturbance called the tauchang riot began during the Chinese New Year with the cutting of pigtails and ended with rioting and factional fighting lasting a number of days. The worst rioting on record in Malaysia however occurred on 13 May 1969, when race riots broke out in Kuala Lumpur. The so-called 13 May Incident refers to the violent conflicts that took place between members of the Malay and the Chinese communities. The violence was the result of Malaysian Malays being dissatisfied with their socio-political status. The riots caused the deaths of 196 people according to official figures, and led to major changes in the country's economic policy to promote and prioritise Malay economic development over that of the other ethnicities.
Kuala Lumpur has several golf courses including the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) and the Malaysia Civil Service Golf Club in Kiara and the Berjaya Golf Course at Bukit Jalil. The city also has numerous large private fitness centres run by Celebrity Fitness, Fitness First, True Fitness and major five-star hotels.