Posted: 07 Oct 2011 02:11 AM PDT
Article by Dr. Megawati Omar
(Malaysia) Blog Correspondent of ASEAN-Korea Centre
Klang is a royal town of the State of Selangor, Malaysia. Being the third largest town in the state, it is situated 34 km from Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital. The Klang town is an area of 573 km square. It is more than a century old, a home to around one million people of Indian, Chinese, Malay and Malay-Java.
Pemandangan dari Jambatan Klang
Many years years ago, Klang was the capital of Selangor but it gradually turned into a role of a royal town as it is very nostalgic to the Sultan of Selangor since the Selangor sultanate began here. The town also is reknown for its Malay-Java people. This nature is due to its geographical factor, being nearest to the Java island of Indonesia, where many of the islanders migrated to Klang, whom later prefered to called themselves the Malay-Javas. Their children and great grandchildren are now ciitizens of Malaysia.
Klang the Royal Town, Malaysia
Klang is quite a unique word as it does not originate from the Malay language. Its origin is vague. The first source of Klang is thought from a Langkasuka empire's language which means 'central'. The word Klang is used in a folklore about a prince of Langkasuka, which has been published in a book, Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa. 'Hikayat' means a story. This story tells how a king, Sultan Mahmud Syah, found a port between the two states in Malaysia, Kedah and Malacca. The second source of the word Klang is 'Klong' which means 'water path'. This could be due to the many small rivers in the town which were used by its folk to travel. In fact, there is a bridge crossing the main river called Jambatan Kota, linking the south and Northern parts of Klang, which to this date is used by its people.
Klang is run by a City Council since 2009. One of the first act taken by the Ciy Council was to clean the rivers and their vicinitiy. Then it upgraded the faciltiies and the traffic flow. The City Council announced that the theme for Klang is the Beautiful and Serene Klang. Big shopping complexes are the Klang Parade, Jusco Klang, Jusco AEON Bukit Tinggi and the Shawcenter Point. The Jusco Klang is biggest in South East Asia which covers 1,000,000 square feet.
Kedai-kedai yang terdapat di Klang
Apart from huge shopping complexes, Klang is also reknown for its inexpensive goods sold in traditional shops. There is a place called Jalan Pasar which houses a market to sell goods used by the Java-Malay people. The market is called the Java market since it sells many varieties of crackers, locally known as 'kerepek'. Kerepek is a form of crackers and it is made from variety of types of ingredients. Some is made from tapioca, some flour. Some are made with anchovies or spinach.
On the eve of a muslim festival, the Aidilfitri, the Java market will be very busy with shoppers and business men. The business men will buy the kerepek in bulk to be sold elsewhere.
Klang is also popular for car accessories and spare parts.
The popular foods are Mee Jawa, Indian and Chinese foods, seafood and Thai food. Food places are more lively at night.
Food Stall in Klang
Beautiful Places in Klang
Klang has many attrations. In the Southern Klang there are the port, the court, the palace, the Royal Council, the Religious Office, the city Council, library, hospital, schools and colleges.
Historical places are the Palace of Alam Shah, which was built a century ago, the royal Mosque of Sultan Sulaiman, also almost a centry old. Then there is Stadium Kota Raja, a college of Islamic learning, Kolej Islam Sultan Alam Shah.
Bandar Klang di waktu malam
There is a 'Little India' in Klang. The population of Klang is made up of Indians thus there are many shops sprouting to cater for the Malaysian Indians. Little India sells materials and household goods. As we pass this area we will smell a unique scent which is widely used by Indian ladies. The area is uniquely colourful since the materials to make the dress for Indian ladies, the saree, are brightly coloured, adorned with sequins and beads.
Photos were from:
Dr Siti Salwa Salleh, the Faculty of Mathematical Science and Computer, UiTM Klang
the Klang City Council Websites
Dr. Megawati Omar is an Associate Professor from the Research Management Institute, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Malaysia.
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