By Ziauddin Sardar
Kuala Lumpur is the postmodern urban writ huge, a urban that, in the brief span of a decade, has been remodeled from a sleepy capital right into a technological wonder with a thriving, varied and prosperous cultural lifestyles. utilizing anecdotes, vintage Malay myths and stories, and observations in line with actual and imaginary wanderings during the urban, Ziauddin Sardar strains Kuala Lumpur's origins and charts the outstanding adjustments skilled via town and its humans, together with either the hot fiscal difficulty and the vicious energy fight among best Minister Mahathir Mohamad and his ex-Deputy Anwar Ibrahim. Sardar indicates how a collision of cultures (Malay, chinese language, Indian, indigenous, Western) has built and re-emerged within the kind of a brand new synthesis, inducing either a level of disorientation and a different experience of power and pleasure.
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Extra info for Consumption of Kuala Lumpur (Reaktion Books - Topographics)
The Treaty of Utrecht began making the kind of clean lines of spheres of influence that colonialism came to relish. Within a few years what is now Indonesia was 54 marked exclusively in the Dutch column and the whole of the Malay peninsula in the British. While this arrangement was being worked out Raffles was still working as an intelligence of ficer, but stationed at the only British outpost left in Indonesia. This was Bencoolen on the south coast of Sumatra. Bencoolen was a real backwater, well off the beaten track, from which the company had signally failed to realize a profit.
The pawangs provided the miners with certain rules for success: no umbrellas in the opencast mines; no shoes either. Eventually, tin began to float down river by boat. The trickle increased, becoming commer cially viable. As serious profits appeared on the horizon, the mining settlement of Ampang began to take shape. Contrary to the received impression of conventional history of modern Malaya, the beginnings of Kuala Lumpur owe their inspiration to the long-established pattern of enterprise of the Malays.
When the Dutch finally conquered Malacca in 1640 they too found that they could not gain much profit from the city they had set their hearts upon. The Dutch East India Company, with its headquarters in Batavia (the modern Jakarta) on Java, had to console itself with the knowledge that possession of Malacca was strategically es sential, and quietly downgrade the city's position in the hierar chy of imperial administration. The Dutch East India Company was founded in 1602, two years after the Royal Charter of the Company of Merchants of London trading into the East Indies, otherwise known as the English East India Company.