Kuala Lumpur (1960-1970)/ Independence of Malaya and the establishment of Malaysia

Flag of Federation of Malaya (1950-1963)
Flag of Federation of Malaya (1950-1963)
Flag of Malaysia (1963-Now)
Flag of Malaysia (1963-Now)

After World War II, the voice for independence of Malay increased to a peak. However, the uniting of Britain colony into a union is rejected by the Malays due to the weakening of their ruling status. The establishment of Malaya in 1957 which returned the autonomy of to the rulers of Malaya marked the real independence of the Malaya peninsula (except Singapore).

Kuala Lumpur being a traditional Chinese mining town with a bit of colonial colour overlaid on it transformed to the capital of the whole Malaya Peninsula. Kuala Lumpur acting not only an industrial town but a political and cultural centre of the whole region, marked a significant change to its urban form as well as demographics.

After the joining of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore forming Malaysia in 1963, The Chinese population is continued to reduce in percentage since the Malay population moved into Kuala Lumpur working in government sector or security services. Rural Malay population also moved into the city due to the shortage of employment opportunities in rural areas.

Since the term, bumiputras, which refers to the indigenous people comprised mainly Malays and other ethnic tribes, started to reside in the peripheral area of Kuala Lumpur. The city expands tremendously and exerts a high pressure to the city, causing underemployment and housing congestion. This buried the fuse of the racial conflict in 1969. However, in long term, shifting from mining town to capital of the nation significantly changed the urban form and the demographics of the whole city.




Choy, E. A., Rostam, K., Nor, A. R. M., Dali, M. M.,(2013) “Malaysia : Kuala Lumpur,”  in Asian and Pacific Cities Development patterns USA: Routledge

Rimmer, P. J., Dick, H., (2009) The City in Southeast Asia. Patterns, Processes and Policy Singapore: NUS Press

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.