Kuala Lumpur is a hub for cultural activities and events in Malaysia. Among the centres is the National Museum which is situated along the Mahameru Highway. Its collection comprises artifacts and paintings collected throughout the country. Kuala Lumpur also has an Islamic Arts Museum which houses more than seven thousand Islamic artefacts including rare exhibits as well as a library of Islamic art books. The museum's collection not only concentrate on works from the Middle East, but also includes work from elsewhere in Asia, such as China and Southeast Asia. Kuala Lumpur has a Cultural Craft Complex coupled with a museum that displays a variety of textile, ceramic, metal craft and weaved products. All the information of the production process are portrayed in diorama format complete with historical facts, technique and traditionally engineered equipment. Among the processes shown are pottery making, intricate wood carving, silver-smithing, weaving songket cloth, stamping batik patterns on cloth and boat making. Royal Selangor has an ultra modern visitor's centre, which allows tours to be conducted through its pewter museum, gallery and its factory. In its pewtersmithing workshop, "The School of Hard Knocks," participants are taught to create their own pewter dish using traditional tools and methods.
The premier performing arts venue is the Petronas Philharmonic Hall. The resident orchestra is the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), consisting of musicians from all over the world and features regular concerts, chamber concerts and traditional cultural performances. The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) in Sentul West is one of the most established centres for the performing arts, notably theatre, music, and film screening, in the country. It has housed many local productions and has been a supporter of local and regional independent performance artists. One of the highlights in 2006 was the KL Sing Song 2006 music fest which featured Malaysian singer-songwriters of various cultural backgrounds, from both West and East Malaysia, through two days of performances and workshops.
The National Art Gallery of Malaysia is located on Jalan Temerloh, off Jalan Tun Razak on a site neighbouring the National Theater (Istana Budaya) and National Library. The architecture of the gallery incorporates elements of traditional Malay architecture, as well as contemporary modern architecture. The National Art Gallery serves as a centre of excellence and trustee of the national art heritage. The Petronas Art Gallery, another centre for fine art, is situated in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC). The Galeri Tangsi near Dataran Merdeka houses exhibitions of works by local and foreign artists.
Kuala Lumpur holds the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival annually. Another event hosted annually by the city is the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week, which includes international brands as well as local designers.
Kuala Lumpur also is becoming the center for new media, innovation and creative industry development in the region and hosts the international creative industry event, Kreative.Asia.
Kreative.Asia gathers local, regional and international experts in the creative industry who are involved in the creation, development and delivery of interactive content, arts, community and applications. Kuala Lumpur is at the forefront of the convergence of media, art, culture and communications.
Kuala Lumpur has numerous parks, gardens and open spaces for recreational purposes. Total open space for recreational and sport facilities land use in the city has increased significantly by 169.6 percent from in 1984 to in 2000.
Although Kuala Lumpur is touted as one of the host cities for the Formula One World Championship, the open-wheel auto racing A1 Grand Prix and the Motorcycle Grand Prix, races are held at the Sepang International Circuit in Sepang in the neighbouring state of Selangor, close to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The Formula One event contributes significantly to tourist arrivals and tourism income to Kuala Lumpur. This was evident during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998. Despite cities around Asia suffering declining tourist arrivals, Kuala Lumpur tourist arrivals increased from 6,210,900 in 1997 to 10,221,600 in 2000, or 64.6% increase in tourist arrivals.
KL Grand Prix CSI 5*, a five-star international showjumping equestrian event is held annually in the city. This annual event draws the world’s top riders and their prized horses to Malaysia.
Other annual sport events hosted by the city include the KL Tower Run, the KL Tower International BASE Jump Merdeka Circuit and the Kuala Lumpur International Marathon. Kuala Lumpur is also one of the stages of the Tour de Langkawi cycling race.
The annual Malaysia Open Super Series badminton tournament is held in Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur has a considerable array of sports facilities of international class after hosting the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Many of these facilities including the main stadium (with running track and a football field), hockey stadium and swimming pools are located in the National Sports Complex at Bukit Jalil while a velodrome and more swimming pools are located in Bandar Tun Razak, next to the Taman Tasik Permaisuri Lake Gardens. There are also soccer fields, local sports complexes, swimming pools and tennis courts scattered around the suburbs. Badminton and ‘takraw’ courts are usually included in community halls. The AFC House which is the current headquarters of the Asian Football Confederation is built on a complex in the Kuala Lumpur suburb of Bukit Jalil.
Kuala Lumpur has several golf courses including the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) and the Malaysia Civil Service Golf Club in Kiara and the Berjaya Golf Course at Bukit Jalil.
Kuala Lumpur is also the birthplace of Hashing which began in December 1938 when a group of British colonial officers and expatriates began meeting on Monday evenings to run, in a fashion patterned after the traditional British Paper Chase or "Hare and Hounds".
There are several newspapers, including daily newspapers, opposition newspaper, |business newspapers and digital newspaper based in Kuala Lumpur. Daily newspapers include The Star, New Straits Times, theSun, Malay Mail, Kosmo!, Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, Harian Metro. Mandarin and Tamil newspapers are also published here on a daily basis, for example Guang Ming Daily, Sin Chew Daily, China Press, Nanyang Siang Pau and Tamil Nesan, Malaysia Nanban, Makkal Osai. Opposition newspapers such as Harakah, Suara Keadilan, Siasah and Wasilah are also based here. Kuala Lumpur is also the headquarters for Malaysia's state media public government terrestrial television stations such: TV1 and TV2 a subsidiary of RTM and TV Alhijrah a subsidiary of Alhijrah Media Corporation which of Media Prima Berhad and Worldview Broadcasting Channel (Malaysia) Sendirian Berhad a media corporation which houses the private commercial terrestrial television stations such: TV3, NTV7, 8TV, TV9 and Worldview Broadcasting Channel. Programmes are broadcast in Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil.
The city is also home to the country's main pay television service such: Astro, a satellite television service, which broadcasts local and international television channels such: CNN International Asia Pacific, BBC World News, STAR World, FOX Movies Pemium and HBO Asia. Al-Jazeera, the Doha-based Arab news network has launched a new English-speaking channel called Al-Jazeera English to boost its international viewership with one of its broadcast centres based in Kuala Lumpur. Phoenix TV, a Hong Kong based television broadcaster has also announced plans to expand its regional business by partnership with local satellite TV provider, Astro.
In March 2008, Time Out, an international listings and events magazine, was launched in Kuala Lumpur as its 24th global city.
Kuala Lumpur has been featured in all aspects of popular culture such as movies, television, music and books. Television series set in Kuala Lumpur include A Tale of 2 Cities (starring Rui En and Joanne Peh). Movie theaters set in Kuala Lumpur include (starring Jackie Chan and Michelle Yeoh), Entrapment (starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Children of Men (starring Clive Owen) where the Petronas Twin Towers were depicted in flames for a few seconds. Kuala Lumpur was referenced in an episode of The Simpsons entitled "Bart Gets Famous", in which the Bumblebee Man stated that "a powerful tidal wave in Kuala Lumpur has killed 120 people". Books which were set in Kuala Lumpur include KL 24/7 by Ida M Rahim, Shireen Zainudin and Rizal Zainudin, My Life As a Fake by Peter Carey, and Democracy by Joan Didion. There are few notable local films which featured Kuala Lumpur as it's background location during its era such as Masam-masam Manis (1965), Keluarga Si Comat (1973), Jiwa Remaja (1976), Abang (1981), Matinya Seorang Patriot (1984), Kembara Seniman Jalanan (1986), Orang Kampung Otak Kimia (1988), Hati Bukan Kristal (1990), Mat Som (1990), Mira Edora (1990), Femina (1993), Maria Mariana (1996), Hanya Kawan (1997), KLU (1999), Soal Hati (2000), KL Menjerit (2002), Laila Isabella (2003), Gangster (2005), Gol & Gincu (2005), Remp-it (2006), Cinta (2006), Anak Halal (2007) Evolusi KL Drift (2008), Adnan Sempit (2010), KL Gangster (2011), Kepong Gangster (2012), Lagenda Budak Setan 2: Katerina (2012) and Kolumpo (2013). Few local films featured Kuala Lumpur during historical era such as 1975: Hati Malaya (2007), Petaling Streets Warrior (2011) and Tanda Putera (2013).
Kuala Lumpur is mentioned in many songs by local Malaysian artists such as Keroncong Kuala Lumpur by P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur, Ibu Kota by Saloma, Chow Kit Road by Sudirman Arshad, Senyumlah Kuala Lumpur by Alleycats, Streets of Kuala Lumpur by Murkyway, K.L. by Vandal, Kuala Lumpur by Poetic Ammo, Anak Dara by Azmyl Yunor, KL by Too Phat, Kotarayaku by Hujan & Altimet, Lagu Untuk Kuala Lumpur by Tom. Kuala Lumpur, along with Putrajaya, was featured in the music video for the single "Dancing Out" by South Korean boy band Super Junior. Kuala Lumpur was also one of the destinations in The Amazing Race Asia and The Amazing Race. Games have also been set in Kuala Lumpur. They include three levels of the game and two levels of the PlayStation 2 game Burnout Dominator & Reality game show set in Kuala Lumpur form February until April 2013 was aired on AXN Asia The Apprentice Asia was launched on 22 May 2013.
Several commercial radio stations licensed to cover the Great Klang Valley market together with federal government radio stations as list below:
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