– Malaysian way of greeting “Welcome”!
– Malaysian way of greeting “Welcome”!
For over 600 years, Malaysia has welcomed visitors from around the world, thanks to its location at the centre of the major trading routes between Asia, the Middle East and the West. Along with the visitors, Malaysia has also welcomed their different customs and cultures, making its population a microcosm of Asian cultures with a rich multicultural mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous population. This has created a melting pot of customs, cuisines, languages, lifestyles and cultures. This explains why English is widely spoken here with Malay as the national and official language and why most Malaysians are multilingual. Malaysia’s bustling economy is at the heart of the world’s largest economic growth region. The nation is a key player within ASEAN and the South East Asia region, which has a population of over 600 million. Along with the neighbouring giants of India and China, the Asia region constitutes over 45% of the world’s population. Malaysia comprises 14 states making up Peninsular Malaysia, bordered by Thailand to the North and Singapore to the South, and the states of Sabah and Sarawak, that make up East Malaysia. This makes Malaysia geographically diverse as well, from white, sandy beaches, to lush tropical rainforests rich in flora and fauna to cool, crisp highlands, including Mount Kinabalu the tallest mountain in South East Asia.
Malaysia is a multicultural society, with Malays, Chinese and Indians living side by side. The majority of the population are Malays who are Muslims. They speak Bahasa Malaysia. This is followed by the Chinese who comprise about a third of the population, many of whom are Buddhist, Christians, and Taoists. They speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, and many other dialects. Indians account for about 10% of the population. They are mainly Hindu Tamils from southern India, they speak Tamil, Malayalam, and some Hindi, and live mainly in the larger towns on the west coast of the peninsula. There is also a sizeable Sikh community. Eurasians and indigenous tribes make up the remaining population. Despite Bahasa Malaysia being the official language, when the four members of these different communities talk to each other, they generally speak English, which was recently reinstated as the language of instruction in higher education.
The main indigenous population is the Iban of Sarawak, who number 395,000. While some groups continue to live in traditional longhouses along the Rejang and Baram rivers, they are quite remote and can be hard to access, which is why many have abandoned the longhouses and live like modern Malays. The Bidayuh (107,000) are concentrated on Sarawak’s Skrang River. The Orang Asli (80,000) live in small scattered groups in Peninsular Malaysia. Traditionally nomadic agriculturalists, many have been absorbed into modern Malaysia.
As the nation’s capital, Kuala Lumpur is a major cultural, financial, economic and education centre for the South East Asia Region. The city is a kaleidoscope of fascinating sights and sounds, with all the buzz of a modern city, yet rich in culture and heritage. There are some stunning contrasts in this city, on one end of the spectrum there’s the modern PETRONAS Twin Towers and on the other there’s numerous pre-war heritage buildings, which reflect Kuala Lumpur’s rich past, juxtaposed nicely with the modern architecture. 1.6 million people from all walks of life call Kuala Lumpur home while the surrounding area is home to an estimated 7 million people with a diverse ethnic mix of Malay, Chinese, Indian and indigenous cultures. English is widely spoken and the city boasts a comprehensive transportation network that makes getting around hassle-free. With massive investment in venues, transportation and technological infrastructure over the last two decades, Kuala Lumpur is fast becoming a popular
destination for major events and conventions.
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the award-winning purpose-built Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre of over 33,000 sqm of flexible function space, is Malaysia’s premier facility and Asia’s first AIPC (International Association of Congress Centres) Gold Standard Venue that offers customised, innovative and value-add solutions in its pristine world-class facility. Overlooking the iconic PETRONAS Twin Towers and the 50-acre KLCC Park, the Centre is sited right in the heart of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), a 100-acre ‘city within a city’ development, where delegates and visitors attending events at the Centre are spoilt for choice with the varied and exciting range of recreational, entertainment, food & beverage and accommodation options, all within walking distance. The precinct infrastructure also provides excellent accessibility and connectivity to the wider city of Kuala Lumpur via covered air-conditioned walkways from the Centre. The Centre is proudly managed by Convex Malaysia Sdn Bhd, a joint-venture between KLCC (Holdings) Sdn Bhd and ASM Global.
The architecture, tempered with traditional Malay creativity, sets the tone for the Centre’s relaxed elegance. A perfect reflection of true Malaysian culture, warm, welcoming and friendly. The contemporary interior design makes the purpose-built, technologically advanced and well-maintained Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre the perfect venue to cater to anything and everything. From international, regional, and national conventions, tradeshows and consumer exhibitions, to meetings and events, entertainment and intimate private functions.
There are three ways to get around in Kuala Lumpur; metered taxis, public transport and GrabCar (similar to Uber). Metered taxis are the most widely and easily available transportation in cities. Minivan type taxis are available to transport larger groups. Most hotels have their own limousine or their concierge can flag down or call for radio taxi service. Taxi fares in Malaysia are calculated according to meters. Nevertheless, the best way to experience the sights and sounds would be to go for a walk around town.
From leading international, to budget and boutique accommodation, hotels in Kuala Lumpur are very affordable, and delegates and visitors are spoilt for choice!
On site there is direct access to Traders Hotel, Mandarin Oriental, Impiana KLCC and the Grand Hyatt which collectively provide over 2000 rooms, 155 suites and 51 apartments.
Within walking distance of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the Centre), there are over 25,000 rooms available, including several that offer apartment-style accommodation.
There is excellent accessibility and connectivity to off-site hotels conveniently located in the vicinity of the KLCC city centre precinct.
Accommodation ranges from first-class hotel rooms complete with great amenities, an extensive range of facilities and fine-dining restaurants to value for money comfort and good service. Hotels in Kuala Lumpur reflect Malaysian hospitality, with attentive and helpful service staff eager to ensure that guests will depart with fond memories.
It should be emphasized that the following list is not exhaustive. There are several new properties under construction with estimated completion within the next two to five years.
Once the meetings are over, there is plenty to explore in Kuala Lumpur such as world-class shopping, exciting theme parks, international sporting events, dazzling cultural performances and a nightlife that never seems to end. Shoppers will be delighted in what Kuala Lumpur has to offer, from deluxe shopping centres and complexes to bazaars and night markets that offer an irresistible choice of local collectables as well as international labels. Among the must visit shopping centres is Suria KLCC. Located at the base of one of the icons of the city’s skyline – the Petronas Twin Towers. Chinatown, based in Petaling Street, a reference to its roots as a tapioca-producing district is deeply immersed in Oriental culture, heritage and history. At night, its main market area transforms into a lively and vibrant night market, filled with hundreds of stalls offering all kinds of goods.
Visitors will have plenty to explore including monuments, parks and museums. Kuala Lumpur offers both modern and historical attractions. Historical highlights include the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, a Moorish-styled building that faces Merdeka Square. This is where many of Malaysia’s celebrations are held, from Independence Day to New Year’s Day.
A modern landmark is the KL Tower which is the fourth tallest tower in the world. With its base surrounded by the Bukit Nanas Tropical Rainforest Reserve (that in itself is an attraction on its own), this telecommunications tower also houses a variety of souvenir shops and restaurants at its base, and an observation deck and revolving restaurant on the upper decks. Diners here will get a stunning 360° view of the city.
A night out in Kuala Lumpur offers such an array of entertainment outlets and eateries that there is something to suit every mood and taste. Bintang Walk is a pedestrian strip lined with bistros and sidewalk cafes, while Jalan Sultan Ismail is one of the ripest clubbing zones in the region. Changkat Bukit Bintang, with its gamut of eateries and watering holes, is the place to see and be seen. And of course, there is the food. Whether it is haute cuisine or hawkers’ fare, international delights or local delicacies, there is an eatery that will serve any taste bud. Indulge in Malaysia’s gastronomical delights around the clock with hawker stalls and coffee shops operating until the wee hours of the morning. It’s a city that never sleeps.