First Part Done, Now Part 2!
I received a lot of encouraging comments for the first part of the Kuala Lumpur – Past and Present series. Thank you very much to everyone. At least my effort paid off seeing people enjoying the post. Without further a do, here comes the second part of the series.
Flyover at the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
In this circa 1965 photo taken from R.S. Murthi’s website, the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and the Malayan Railway Company headquarters are clearly visible. The road also looks relax as there were not so many cars back then.
In 2014, the same flyover is still there but a lot of other things surrounding the area had changed. The most notable changes is the increased of traffic. Traffic jams are common as the road can no longer sustain the volume of traffic. Apart from that, the road beautification project saw trees being planted along the road, causing the railway station and the railway company headquarters being partly hidden by the trees.
Central Market was formerly a central wet market for residents of Kuala Lumpur. Having established itself since 1888, the wet market was relocated to another place in the 1980s subsequently turning this old heritage building to a new market – a market for local arts, handicrafts, souvenirs and cultural performances. In this circa 1982 photo acquired from The Star, motorcycles and rickshaws can be seen parked in front of the main entrance to the market.
Today, the facade of the market remains relatively unchanged. It still have the same design it had several decades ago. The visible changes are the words ‘Since 1888’ which was the year it was established, as well as a new coat of paint. Besides that, rickshaws are not available anymore throughout the city and there are dedicated parking spaces for cars and motorcycles. As such, the front part of the market is now accessible to pedestrians only.
In the 1920s, this building was known as the Government Offices. This is the administrative centre for the British Resident in Kuala Lumpur and the British administered the Federated Malay States from this building. Little did they know that about 37 years later, this will be the place where the Union Jack is lowered and changed to the flag of the Federation of Malaya. Photo taken from R.S. Murthi’s website.
Today, the building is used as the office for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture. Previously, it had also been used as the Supreme Court building. Now known as the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, only the center court is currently utilized while the other parts of the building seems to be unused. It is one of the buildings listed as a heritage building. Read more on the building here.
High Street / Jalan Tun H. S. Lee
High Street in 1975 was busy and bustling as can be seen in this photo taken from R.S. Murthi’s website. Situated near the city centre, it was (and still is) the location of the oldest and richest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur, the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. In 1968, a new structure was added to the temple, the 5-tiered gopuram (tower), clearly visible on the right side of the photo.
In 2014, the street is known as Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, in recognition of one of the founding fathers of the nation. The lanes seem smaller than in 1975 and it is now a dead end road, as the construction of the MRT is taking place at the end of the road. The gopuram at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple is still visible, despite the design of the whole temple looks slightly different. At the background of the photo, skyscrapers are mushrooming, shadowing the one and only skyscraper visible in the 1975 photo.
In this photo from The Star, Petaling Street or Malaysia’s Chinatown is seen to be full with Chinese lanterns. A lot of vendors selling their stuff under umbrellas by the roadside and a guy is seen cycling in the middle of the road, looking over at the street. The arch reads: Vision 2020 Petaling Street. Vision 2020 is the idea mooted by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia, Mahathir Mohamad, for Malaysia to become a developed nation by 2020.
6 years until 2020 and Petaling Street is still a bustling walking market with vendors selling things from fake goods to roadside food. To cycle in front of the street is almost impossible with the traffic. A new arch was constructed to replace the old one and the street is now a pedestrian street where it is closed for vehicles. There is also a large TV screen and the whole street is covered by a roof to prevent rain and heat from deterring people to shop. However, from my recent visit, I noticed that many vendors are not locals but instead they are immigrants from Bangladesh, Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.
Finally, it is done!
Finally, my personal project is done. All these photos show how much Kuala Lumpur has progressed all this while. It shows that despite some issues plaguing the city, we have move forward so much, so much that even our forefathers would be happy if they see how the city turns out to be today.
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