March 2017

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Page 70 of 81 | Mobility 67 K uala Lumpur, which literally means "muddy confluence" due to its establishment in 1857 at the confluence of the Gombak and Klang rivers, is the capital of Malaysia. Situated in the Federal Territory of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur has slowly developed from a tin-mining community into a thriving city of 1.7 million people. Today, it is one of the fastest-rising metropolitan areas in Southeast Asia, economically and by population. Covering an area of 243 km 2 (94 square miles), Kuala Lumpur, fondly known as KL by local residents, is the seat of the Parliament of Malaysia. KL is also listed as an "alpha world city" because of its status as the cultural, economic, and financial center of Malaysia. As a melting pot of races, religions, and cultures, the population consists of 45.9 percent Malay and indigenous people, 43.2 percent ethnic Chinese, and 10.3 percent ethnic Indian; there is a growing expatriate population in Malaysia, numbering roughly 40,000, with most located in Kuala Lumpur. The principal language in KL is Bahasa Malaysia, the country's national language. Expatriates will find it quite easy to communicate with local people in English, how - ever, as it is the principal language in business and a connection to Malaysia's British colonial past. Other languages spoken in KL are Mandarin, Cantonese, and Tamil. The many culturally significant and scenic places to visit in Kuala Lumpur include the National Museum, the Moorish-style Kuala Lumpur Railway Station built in 1910, the Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower, Merdeka (Independence) Square, and many others. There is a healthy mix of traditional and new buildings side by side, each with its own unique style and designs. KL is also known for sumptuous food that has a unique blend of cultures and flavors not found anywhere else in the world. From fine dining to hawker stalls, KL gets the atten - tion of your gastronomic palate. DESTINATION PROFILE: Malaysia's melting pot of races, religions, and cultures By Jeremy L. Fidelis KUALA LUMPUR

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