Brickfields, Jalan Petaling, Central Market and Masjid Jamek – the Ethnic heart of Kuala Lumpur

Reblogged from my other blog The Heartlander Tourist.
Originally posted: 29 August 2015
Original content on this blog returns: 7 Apr 2017

The Heartlander Tourist

Yap Ah Loy was the most inportant Kapitan Cina in Kuala Lumpur. After a massive fire in 1881 razed the whole town to the ground, the then governor Frank Sweetenham declared that all buildings had to be made of bricks. Yap bought a plot of land in the Brickfields estate and set up a brick industry. His descendants further developed the district and set up brick kilns. The quality of bricks soon birthed the name Brickfields.

BrickfieldsBrickfields District

Brickfields is the Little India of KL, just as Serangoon Road is Singapore’s Little India. The difference was in why they went there.


While Indians in Singapore came over as colonial soldiers, civil servants, traders and convicts, the Indians/Sri Lankans (Ceylonese as they were then called) in Brickfields came first as workers on the railway line. The Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) previously had its main depot in Brickfields and has since…

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