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What You May Or May Not Know About KL’s Petronas Twin Towers

Without stating the obvious, Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Twin Towers is the most photographed object in Malaysia. Soaring to a height of 451.9 metres, the 88-storey twin structure is Kuala Lumpur’s crown jewel.

Inspired by former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s vision for Malaysia to be a global economic hub, the project came to life in March 1993 under the watchful eye of master architect Cesar Pelli.

Construction of the superstructure started in April 1994 with the jacking of the spires of Tower 1 and Tower 2 completed in March 1996.

After some six years, 160,000 cubic metres of concrete, 83,500 square metres of steel cladding and 36,910 tonnes of steel used, on August 31, 1999, Dato Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia, officially opened the Towers.

Pelli, upon its completion, called the Twin Towers “a monument that is not specifically Malaysian, but will forever be identified with Kuala Lumpur”.

It is the world’s tallest twin towers and was the world’s tallest building from 1998 to 2004. It is now ranked 8th in the world.

The Towers are connected on the 42nd and 43rd floors by a double-decker sky bridge that stands 170 metres above street level, the highest two-storey bridge in the world.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.56.27 AMPavol Kmeto / Shutterstock.com

According to Dr. Mahathir, the building symbolises the courage, culture and advancement of the people of Malaysia, with the twin towers and sky bridge resembling the ‘M’ of Malaysia.

There are 32,000 windows, 29 double-decker high-speed passenger lifts, six heavy-duty service lifts and four executive lifts.

The executive lifts are the longest rise in any office building in Malaysia. It serves every floor from the basement car park to the top of the Towers in 90 seconds.

Apart from being an iconic tourist attraction, the tower is also a commercial hub, housing some of the world’s top companies such as Petronas, Al-Jazeera, Microsoft, Boeing and Bloomberg to name a few.

Screen Shot 2016-06-30 at 11.59.05 AMKjersti Joergensen / Shutterstock.com

The Petronas Twin Towers gained immediate exposure with its appearance in the 1999 Hollywood action flick Entrapment, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.

The film follows the thieves as they engage in a game of cat-and-mouse taking in iconic locations in Scotland, England and Malaysia.

In one scene, the duo sail down a murky river on the banks of slums with the 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers seen in the background.

But the images of the river were filmed in Malacca, not Kuala Lumpur, and spliced with shots of the 1,482ft-high skyscrapers — displeasing then Prime Minister Mahathir and most Malaysians.

The iconic structure has also been scene to many daredevil attempts and stunts. On April 15 1999, Felix Baumgartner of the Red Bull Stratos project-fame, set the then Base jumping world record by jumping off a window cleaning crane on the Petronas Towers.

French urban climber Alain ‘Spiderman’ Robert has made many attempts to scale the Towers; stopped and arrested on his first two attempts on the 60th floor in 1997 and 2007, before succeeding on his third attempt on September 1, 2009.

If you wish to visit the Towers in a more conventional manner, entrance is free but has a daily tourist limit of 800 people. The Twin Towers remain closed on Mondays and during prayer times on Friday.

To experience the Petronas Twin Towers first-hand or for more information, click here: http://www.petronastwintowers.com.my/

 

 

Article source: http://blog.tourism.gov.my/feed/

Thaipusam: Carrying A Common Burden

“I am a sequence smoker,” says a Kavadi maker. “Every day one packet.”

I am station amidst piles of plywood and steel fittings, appetite collection on a building and sawdust in a air, underneath a front porch shutter of a elementary patio residence on a hinterland of Banting, 45 mins from Kuala Lumpur. Outside, in a prohibited afternoon sun, half finished Kavadis mount on a asphalt, some small skeletons of steel rods and plywood, unrecognisable. This is where Kavadis—a earthy weight carried by Hindus as an act of penance during a festival of Thaipusam—are made. we consult a stage before me. we had approaching it to be rather reduction industrial, some-more visionary – maybe an ascetic hand-crafting his creations, amid swirls of camphor smoke. But cigarette smoking is a review during hand. “I’m a sequence smoker, yet given a month of Thai began, not a singular stick.”

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Bala operative on a Kavadi

Bala, a Kavadi maker, is referring to a Hindu month of Thai, from that a Hindu festival Thaipusam derives a name. On a day we accommodate him, he has not had a fume for 3 weeks. Along with other Hindu devotees, Bala undergoes fasting for 48 days (the generation of a month in a Hindu calendar), abstaining from party and oppulance before a day-long proceed that is a face of Thaipusam. Bala proudly shows me an manuscript of journal clippings, where any print or discuss of his Kavadis in a press has been lovingly laminated and bound. It is a work of love. “It’s not unequivocally about a money,” he says in a thick Tamil accent, “I assistance people to do their pilgrimage.”

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Putting a finishing touches on a Kavadi and contrast it out

A event with opposite paths

I accommodate one of Bala’s business during a march of my visit. K. Anuharan has come to check on a swell of his Kavadi. Wearing a thick, silver-speckled brave and a malar (sort of a Hindu rosary) around his neck, he surprises me by vocalization ideal English. His Kavadi is comparatively medium by stream standards, yet still measures over 5 feet in tallness and width, and weighs around 30 kg. Balance is a hallmark of a well-crafted Kavadi, and Anuharan is here to make certain that a Kavadi’s heft is uniformly distributed opposite his shoulders. “As distant behind as we can remember, we have been fasten a Thaipusam proceed during Batu Caves any year.” At my disbelief, he strains to remember if he has ever missed one. “No,” he finally says. “Even now that we am staying in Australia, we will fly behind any Thaipusam.”

Selva is another Hindu advocate who will lift a Kavadi this year. An operative during an airline association formed in KL and an zealous marathon runner, he too has assimilated a proceed any year given childhood. Even when he was operative in Singapore during his younger days, he assimilated a proceed in Singapore.

The Kavadi that Selva will lift is totally opposite from Anuharan’s. He shows me a print of it on his phone. It is a elementary timber pole, modestly embellished, that will be offset opposite his shoulders. At both ends of a pole, he will hang a jar of milk, that devotees move to a church as an offering. While a incomparable Kavadis and a fantastic Vel Kavadis (which are trustworthy to bearers partly by steel spikes pierced into a bearers’ skin) are a ones that squeeze a courtesy of photographers and a public, it is Selva’s understated Kavadi that is closer to a normal form. “The normal Kavadi is merely a stick with an arch over it, that rests on a bearer’s shoulder,” explains Kandasamy Velayuthan, Deputy President of a Malaysian Hindu Sangam, a physique that oversees Thaipusam celebrations in Malaysia. “It should usually be flashy with palm branches, peacock feathers and fruits that are used for prayers.” Over a years, Kavadis grew bigger and some-more elaborate. Kandasamy admits that this could be partly fuelled by one-upmanship among devotees, yet is also due to a opposite vows done by opposite devotees. Perhaps any male has his possess weight to carry.

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Anuharan charity prayers before a large day

Diverging beliefs

Both Anuharan and Selva determine to me following them during a Thaipusam procession. Knowing that we have no before experience, they report to me a standard Thaipusam procession.

The proceed itself is a rough epic. Over a million devotees take a two-kilometre proceed to Batu Caves, many carrying Kavadis of all sizes, a atmosphere rattling with a raging drumbeats of normal song troupes. Though a rituals practised competence differ, a channel is mostly similar: The proceed starts on a banks of a Batu River, where devotees rinse themselves as a mystic form of cleansing, Hindu priests offer prayers, and a devotees take adult their Kavadis. At this point, all a avoidance and fasting and imagining of a prior 48 days come to a head. Many Kavadi bearers will enter into a trance. Anuharan describes a experience: “The appetite of a deity is channeled into you, and it’s as if we remove control of your body. You are wakeful of your surroundings, yet it’s as if another appetite is determining your body, giving we a continuation and concentration to finish a procession. Sometimes we even remove alertness completely, so we have no correlation of events during a trance. You enter into a coma during a stream bank, and arise adult during Batu Caves!”

The power of a coma depends really most on a devotee’s preparations forward of a large day. “Sometimes we get a good trance, infrequently we get a diseased trance,” says Anuharan. “If we didn’t ready with a right suggestion – quick scrupulously or spend time meditating – we will get a diseased trance, and this means we competence not have a strength to finish a procession. It is pronounced that a piercings would harm too,” he continues, referring to a common use of trenchant one’s self with steel skewers or hooks, as an concomitant act of penance.

Piercings have turn a indicate of contention. Some, like Anuharan, remonstrate with a practice. “Hinduism never asks me to harm myself,” he says. “It is a form of penance for some, they make a vouch to do it, and so they contingency perform that vow. But for me, we don’t do it.” Selva, though, has had piercings before, and offers his counterpoint. “I have listened that when a skewer is pierced by a tip of a tongue, it touches a haughtiness on a tongue that helps a mind to concentration and keep it in a pondering state during a procession.”

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A clergyman restraining a Kappu on Anuharan’s palm and blessing him and his family

The home stretch

Three days before Thaipusam, devotees who devise to attend in a proceed revisit a church to offer special prayers. Anuharan, whose event began in Australia, offers his prayers during a Ayappan church circuitously Batu Caves. A clergyman affixes a square of turmeric on a string, sprinkles it with red Kunkum powder, and ties it to Anuharan’s hand. It is called a Kappu. It is a pointer that a dispatcher has done a vow, and is now portion out his penance. For a subsequent 3 days, Anuharan will stay during a temple, sleeping on a building during night, meditating and avoiding secular distractions.

Selva, no foreigner to tests of endurance, is attack a home widen too. His vows of avoidance will grow some-more severe, and he too will discuss more. Bala, a Kavadi maker, has most some-more to do. He has set adult a tent circuitously a Batu River, that will offer as his bottom of operations. Last-minute requests from business leave him busy. At a same time, he too needs to observe all his vows. By day he scrambles to finish Kavadis, by night he and his mother nap during circuitously temples. On Thaipusam day, Bala will perform a proceed over and over again. He or members of his group need to travel with a devotees who lease his Kavadi all a proceed to a Batu Caves temple, and collect a Kavadi in time for a subsequent rental. Anuharan, Selva, and Bala are only 3 of an estimated 1.5 million people who will mob Batu Caves this year. Each will proceed Batu Caves with opposite vows, temperament opposite burdens, carrying walked opposite paths. This is a final buildup of spirituality, for all of them.

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Anuharan perplexing out a Kavadi

A common burden

Why do we do it? we ask. Though Anuharan and Selva differ in their use of Thaipusam, they both offer a same answers – invocation and tradition. “I lift a large Kavadi given we once done a request, and it was answered miraculously. In return, we vowed to lift a large Kavadi any year, so this is a accomplishment of that vow,” explains Anuharan. Selva has never done a specific vow, yet he, too, sees a Thaipusam proceed as an act of thanksgiving.

“It is a proceed of expressing my thankfulness for a blessings in my life, and during a same time, to ask for a blessings to continue.” Selva adds, “It is partial of my temperament as a Hindu. My family has always participated in a Thaipusam procession, and when a time comes we will pass this on to my children.” Anuharan concurs. “Every year, ever given we can remember, my family has taken this pilgrimage. It is a tradition value keeping.”

——–

Journey with us, as we go on a event to Batu Caves in a second partial of this series: A Walk Among Gods

Want to know some-more about Thaipusam and other festivals and events in Malaysia? Visit www.tourism.gov.my for some-more information.

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Sungai Buloh

At initial peek Sungai Buloh might seem unassuming, quiet, tedious even, an area within a Klang Valley with greenery. But visitors to Sungai Buloh are in for a warn when they learn of a charming past.

The Sungai Buloh we know currently is a place where gardening enthusiasts go to squeeze plants, unfeeling seedlings and fertilisers from a many nurseries located in and around this suburban town. It is also set to be a vital ride heart as it has been noted as one of a categorical stations underneath a new Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) project, directed during shortening overload and improving open transportation.

But there’s some-more to Sungai Buloh than meets a eye.

The Sungai Buloh Leprosy Control Centre is a 230ha (568 acres) settlement, with a sensuous greenery and halcyon surroundings, confute a story of this tighten weave community.

Historic events made Sungai Buloh

Severe leprosy outbreaks took place in Malaysia in a 1800s that stirred village leaders and internal authorities to find benevolent ways to assistance lepers by providing them places to redeem and get treatment, as existent comforts were distant from adequate.

Based on internal laws during a time, patients had to be segregated from others, possibly underneath organisation of medical staff or be housed in a camp. In a late 1800s and early 1900s, there were 4 leprosy camps in Malaysia – Pulau Serimbun (Malacca), Pulau Jerejak (Penang), Setapak (Selangor) and Pangkor Island (off Perak).

But it took a few medical experts and process makers to do divided with existent camps, that were likened to barbed-wired prisons. In 1923, Dr E. A. O. Traverse due a process to urge a vital conditions for those pang from leprosy, in an area where patients could live with dignity, while receiving required care.

Selling not usually equipment such as H2O features, a Sungai Buloh Garden World sells a judgment with a design to spin any home a sky to come to.

With this push, Sir George Maxwell, a arch secretary of a Federated Malay States started to build a leprosy allotment in 1926, selecting Sungai Buloh for a sensuous hollow and cold climate, most indispensable for leprosy patients who are supportive to heat. Located nearby Bukit Lagong, by dual rivers – a Sungai Buloh and Sungai Cemubung – it was a ideal place for a community.

The Sungai Buloh Leprosy allotment incited out to be one of a largest settlements underneath a British rule, and a second biggest one in a world, fondly also famous as a Valley of Hope. The area, strictly renamed National Leprosy Control Centre in 1969, was versed with comforts and amenities to spin it into a garden city, permitting a village to turn a confident one. The thought of charity an event to branch tarnish was being realised in Sungai Buloh as lepers were means to grow their possess plants for sale and acquire an income, while vital in a atmospheric and pleasing area.

Houses were built in clusters so people were speedy to correlate with another, on tip of providing a clarity of security. At any cluster, a food placement area or marketplace was built, again to inspire entertainment of people to socialize while they visited these open areas. To serve inspire village activities, a accumulation of clubs were set up. The Malay Club, several Chinese house associations, a Indian Mutual Aid as good as play clubs organized gatherings, dinners and performances. Similarly, eremite institutions like temples, mosques and churches were built as a source of devout support for a community.

Over 2000 patients lived in Sungai Buloh, and a numbers were high adequate to set adult a apart executive body. Simple polite functions such as birth, matrimony and genocide registrations were supervised by a medical superintendent, who also monitored a divorce justice in a area.

More importantly, Sungai Buloh was built for a leper village and it was run by a community. This gave a clarity of purpose for leprosy sufferers as many became executive workers, nurses, teachers and mechanics. Some were some-more entrepreneurial, environment adult coffee shops, coiffeur shops and tiny grocery stores.

Modernising Sungai Buloh

After a late 1960s, there were no some-more admissions to a centre, though skeleton to build an spreading illness control centre was laid out underneath a Ninth Malaysia Plan.

Some 200 aged former leprosy patients still live in a area, possibly in their possess homes or in sanatorium quarters. Conservationists did demonstrate regard over either a sensuous immature area would have to make approach for development, though due to vigour from a Save a Valley of Hope organisation in a debate to safety Sungai Buloh, a authorities designated 78ha of a sum 230ha area to be gazetted as inhabitant heritage.

The Sungai Buloh Leprosy settlement.

Old buildings still dot a Sungai Buloh area, as they offer attract and quaintness of this once contained community. People visiting a area are speedy to try over a horticultural area to admire a aged church, soppy marketplace and houses that are still hire in this settlement. The aged wooden sanatorium is still functioning as a medical facility, while a newer sister sanatorium takes on a some-more difficult cases in a complicated steel and potion designed building located during a opening of Sungai Buloh.

People who wish to revisit this ancestral allotment can do so by open transport. Visitors can house a KTM Komuter Train to a Sungai Buloh hire and take a Selangor train series 144A from a hire into a settlement. Alternatively, visitors can take a same train from Medan Pasar in Chinatown and stop during Sungai Buloh Hospital.


Map: Sungai Buloh


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Putrajaya, a creation of a city

Putrajaya, a creation of a city

As a immature capital, Putrajaya might not have a impression and essence of a good cities of a world, though it is good on a approach there with innovative architecture, community-centric city formulation and prolonged tenure ambitions. In propinquity to many of Malaysia’s other cities like Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, a garden city of Putrajaya is like a new child on a aged block. Granted, it lacks a thespian story of a former and a age-old enlightenment of a latter though what it has in additional is youthfulness, a complicated prophesy and a suggestion to acquire a new.

From crops to city

A travel down a memory line – or in this case, a landmark 4.2 km-long highway – might be brief though it is filled with many aesthetically-pleasing buildings, parks and bridges. Barely 16 years given a groundbreaking ceremony, Putrajaya, radiant in a pleasant object today, is a stately city wise of a purpose as a new centre of a Malaysian government.

What we see currently is a distant cry from a time when a area was famous as Prang Besar. Those were a days when rubber and palm oil plantations dominated a terrain. In a late 1990s, work began to renovate a estate into a silken executive collateral envisioned by then-Prime Minister, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. It was to be his bequest for Malaysia, though during a time, a city was recognised for a some-more unsentimental reason – to soothe a civic overload that was solemnly choking a collateral city, Kuala Lumpur.

For some years during a initial proviso of development, Putrajaya looked like a murky array where male and inlet intent in complicated conflict – an good thoughtfulness of a name (Prang Besar loosely translates into Big War) – as trees were mowed down and earth was flattened to make approach for a new city.

Building with care

In a following years, a empty landscape sprouted glossy new buildings connected by a far-reaching and considerable boulevard, while around it, a new municipality finish with schools, selling malls and residences were built. It’s engaging to note that Putrajaya’s master devise focused on formulating best vital conditions. For instance, as most as 70 percent of Putrajaya’s sum area is still immature with some-more being finished to revoke CO emissions and rubbish products and to foster cooler outside temperatures in a pleasant heat.

A extended operation of housing forms are accessible to move people of opposite backgrounds together in Putrajaya. Public amenities and comforts within any village are located within 5 minutes’ walking stretch from any point. Solid fencing around a fringe of a residence is disheartened so as to foster communication and socialization among neighbours (hedges, shrubs and trees are used instead to delimit one residence from a next).

The strange streams using by a empty landscape — Sungai Chuau and Sungai Bisa – were flooded over and dammed adult to emanate a sequence of scenic synthetic lakes that together, make adult about 600 hectares or 12 percent of Putrajaya. Entire forests were re-planted, a whole other ecosystem was re-created. A new city was built from belligerent zero.

The lake district

The lake – a participation too outrageous to omit — has now turn a categorical underline of Putrajaya. It functions as both a recreational area and scenic element, as good as being an environmental filter and cooling system. It’s been a venue for high-profile events such as general prohibited atmosphere balloons festivals, flower carnivals, a Le Tour De Langkawi, and general waterski championships.

As many as 8 bridges of stately pattern were assembled over a lake during several points. These have turn scenic backdrops for a accumulation of radio commercials and favourite theme matters of a many photography enthusiasts. Visitors can best suffer a beauty of a lake, and Putrajaya, around a lake journey that highlights a many overwhelming landmarks around.

A 38 km waterfront area was grown along a partial of a lake with parks, landscaped walkways, fishing piers and observation decks. A well-kept tip is a open “beach” right subsequent to Pullman Putrajaya Hotel where folks can suffer some object while a kids dash divided in a water.

The lake also forms partial of a wetland park and functions as a medium for new wildlife to a area such as swifts, moor hens, H2O hens, furious ducks and kingfishers, as good as roving birds from a Northern Hemisphere. Needless to say, it offers bird-watchers and inlet lovers a cultivatable outside session.

Landmark buildings

One of a initial Putrajaya structures to be finished was a Putra Mosque which, compartment today, stays an critical idol of Putrajaya. Its dusky pinkish dome, surfaced with a bullion tiled finial measuring 76 metres above belligerent level, has been a indicate of anxiety for many who navigate a roads around a city. Surprisingly, a elaborately-decorated pattern took usually 6 weeks to finish due to a use of complicated record that was means to emanate a ideal cover of a dome. Pre-fabricated sections of a pattern were done off-site and mounted on a mosque though a use of scaffolding and in 30 per cent reduction time than required methods.

Today, a mosque, that seems to “float” on a Putrajaya Lake, can acquire as many as 10,000 worshippers in a immeasurable request hall. Even so, there was a need to erect another mosque usually 5 years later, a Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin mosque that can take in adult to 20,000 worshippers during a time. Nicknamed a Iron Mosque since of a 6,000 tonnes of steel used in a construction, it couldn’t be some-more opposite than a Putra Mosque usually 2.2 km to a north. Influenced by German and Chinese architectural aesthetics, a mosque does divided with minarets, fans and air-conditioning. Instead, a fountain courtyard, vast open spaces and latticed walls were implemented to cold a interiors and foster ventilation. Other pattern elements embody a use of “transparent” walls on that etchings of Quranic verses seem to float.

Another building value mentioning is a Ministry of Energy, Water and Communications, or improved famous as a LEO building, brief for Low Energy Office. It pennyless new belligerent in a area of appetite potency and charge in buildings, handling on approximately 135 kWh per m2 a year, with a aim of nutritious on as tiny as 55 kWh per m2 a year. It has turn a indication for immature buildings that are both pleasing in pattern and user accessible for a comfort of a inhabitants.

The Putrajaya International Convention Centre (PICC) in Precinct 5 also has a distinguished architecture. Located right during a finish of a Putrajaya Boulevard, “facing off” Putra Perdana, a PICC was desirous by a pattern of a stately Malay belt bend or pending, that is best appreciated with an aerial perspective of a building. From a front, however, a roof – whose sides are “lifted up” — reflects hints of Japanese origami pattern elements. The rest of a building is done of glass, to irradiate a interiors with as most healthy light as possible.

Another particular underline of Putrajaya is a 100 metre far-reaching and 4 km prolonged highway with a Putra Perdana (the Prime Minister’s office) during one finish and a PICC during a other. It’s been pronounced that Tun Mahathir wanted it fashioned after a Champs-Elysees of Paris where parades and celebrations could be hold in grand conform along a categorical thoroughfare.

The garden city

Besides a Wetland Park, there are during slightest 5 other vital parks in a vicinity. The Botanical Park has a excellent collection of plant exhibits in beautifully landscaped drift featuring 700 class from 90 countries. The Agriculture Heritage Park duration honours a origins of Putrajaya by progressing an strange tract of a Prang Besar rubber camp including an authentic rubber estimate appurtenance and smokehouse. It also cultivates Malaysian fruit trees in a orchards to give visitors a possibility to representation internal anniversary fruits.

Within a tactful enclave lies a synthetic dipterocarp forest; what used to be an oil palm estate is now an civic jungle finish with healthy streams, walking trails, and horse-riding trails. Two other singular parks within Putrajaya are a Challenge Park, to foster X-Games form recreation, and a Equestrian Park.

Putrajaya might be tiny in distance during usually 49 km block (compared to Kuala Lumpur’s 243 km square), though it positively packs in a lot with a churned development. And while it might be comparatively young, it’s formulating story of a possess with landmark architecture, seamless matrimony of modernity and nature, and a suggestion of community.

For some-more information on Putrajaya, go to www.ppj.gov.my or www.tourismmalaysia.gov.my.

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