Many locations in Malaysia have borne witness to noteworthy events and, therefore, have historical significance. On this Malaysia Day, here are five locations in Selangor that are still standing and well-preserved, allowing new generations to learn from their vibrant histories.
Klang was chosen as the Selangor capital in 1875 after the passing of Sultan Muhammad Shah. The oldest city in Malaysia used to be the battleground for the civil war between Raja Abdullah Raja Jaafar and Raja Mahadi Raja Sulaiman in 1867-1874.
The city has many buildings constructed during British colonial times. These include the Chennai Silk Palace, Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, and Gedung Raja Abdullah, a heritage building once used as a warehouse, police station and tin museum. These locations are stops along the Royal Klang Town Heritage Walk guided tour.
Other iconic locations include the Klang Bridge, which was built in 1957, and the Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery.
2. Kuala Kubu Bharu
Kuala Kubu was the location of Raja Mahadi’s fort during the Selangor civil war.
The town, formerly governed by British residents including Frank Swettenham, was once hit by a massive flood which, according to legend, was due to the actions of a British officer who killed a white crocodile that was considered the town guardian by the people of old Kuala Kubu.
Today, the Kuala Kubu Bharu Historical Gallery allows visitors to immerse in the history of this town. British ruling-era buildings such as the police station, post office and clock tower still stand strong.
Kajang town, which is over 200 years old, was a former tin-mining area founded by the Mandailing, Rawa and Minangkabau peoples. Mandailing migrants from Sumatra were the pioneers in opening up forest land in and around Kajang.
Historical buildings here include the Shen Sze She Yar temple, which is over 120 years old; the old post office, Masjid Jamek Kajang, and various biscuit shops that are over a century old.
Other must-visit locations include the Tan Boon Chia building, which used to be the residence for mine owners before becoming the headquarters of the Japanese army; and the Kajang Heritage Centre, which stores 300 collections of artefacts, tools and historical documents.
4. Kuala Selangor
Kuala Selangor was occupied by seafarers as far back as the 16th century, prior to which it was ruled by the Melaka empire. The early population, primarily made up of Bugis people, was said to have been led by a woman named Upu Chendera Burung.
Jeram, located here, is purportedly the place where Sultan Mansur Syah Melaka, who ruled from 1459 to 1477, crowned his prince, Paduka Seri Cina.
Bukit Malawati here contains the poisonous well (perigi beracun), rumoured to have once been the site where traitors were tortured; as well as the remains of the Kota Malawati fort and Meriam Penggawa, a sacred canon wrapped in a yellow cloth.
The Kuala Selangor District Historical Museum allows visitors to uncover more about this old town’s past.
Jugra, formerly known as Temasya town, was founded in the 18th century by the Bugis who came from Johor for trading activity with Melaka. It was also the administrative area of the Selangor government after it moved from Kuala Selangor in 1859, during the reign of Sultan Abdul Samad.
It is said that Hang Tuah once visited Jugra Hill for cockfighting.
Highlights here include the Alaeddin Mosque, Long Puteri Palace, and Jugra Palace, residence of Sultan Abdul Samad from 1859 to 1898. The Jugra Insitu Museum, formerly a police station, court and jail, is the best place to learn the history of this town.