Kuala Lumpur's Skyline: A Towering Marvel of Modern Malaysia
BY: Michelle Liew
Initial perceptions of Malaysia being less developed, lagging behind, and considered a third-world country have been shattered by the awe-inspiring skyline of Kuala Lumpur, as experienced and shared by American content creator Lilith. The 26-year-old, who documents her travel experiences on TikTok and Instagram under the handle @Lilithinkl, expressed her surprise and admiration for the impressive cityscape of the Malaysian capital.
Lilith, hailing from Arizona in the United States, shared her astonishment at the sheer magnitude of Kuala Lumpur's architectural wonders, particularly singling out the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. "When I first saw the Petronas Twin Towers, they were massive. I'm not sure if I've ever seen something so tall before," she remarked. Her enthusiasm extended to the uniqueness of the city's skyscrapers, describing them as "very different and unique compared to other countries."
Her social media content, showcasing the vibrant atmosphere around the Bukit Bintang area and highlighting the architectural splendour of Kuala Lumpur, has resonated with viewers worldwide. Lilith's videos have garnered nearly 150,000 likes, with a flood of comments affirming her opinion that Malaysia's skyline rivals that of developed nations.
According to Urban Planning activist Mohamad Afiq Daniel, who shared this information on social media under the handle @slainthayer, Malaysia boasts a staggering 279 skyscrapers. Of these, 241 are situated in Kuala Lumpur, with notable structures such as Merdeka 118, The Exchange 106, and the Petronas Twin Towers proudly making it to the list of the world's top 100 tallest skyscrapers.
In speaking to local news outlet Bernama, Mohamad Afiq emphasized that this figure surpasses the total number of skyscrapers found in the entire continents of Europe and Russia. The data, sourced from the official website of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, a non-profit organization that compiles information about skyscrapers globally, reflects the economic strength and rapid progress of Kuala Lumpur.
Mohamad Afiq's insights were supported by Dr. S Gobi Krishna, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Urban and Regional Planning at Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM). Dr. Gobi Krishna noted that skyscrapers not only contribute to the aesthetic appeal of the skyline but also play a vital role in attracting local and international tourists. The architectural uniqueness of these structures, he explained, contributes significantly to the economic sector.
"In the context of urban planning, skyscrapers create a skyline or a visually appealing building view in terms of height and architectural design," said Dr. Gobi Krishna. He further highlighted that the rapid growth of skyscrapers in Asia, particularly in Kuala Lumpur, is due to constraints in urban development space and the preservation of historically valuable buildings.
The presence of numerous skyscrapers in Kuala Lumpur is not only symbolic of the nation's economic strength but also contributes substantially to the country's revenue through higher property taxes. Mohamad Afiq, who is also a property analyst, pointed out that the abundance of skyscrapers in the capital can result in a more significant development budget for the nation.
However, Dr. Gobi Krishna cautioned about the potential for an 'overhang' of unused space in skyscrapers, emphasizing the importance of optimizing their use to prevent losses. As Malaysia continues to carve its path towards progress, the towering skyline of Kuala Lumpur stands as a
testament to the nation's economic prowess, architectural excellence, and its allure as a destination that seamlessly blends tradition with modernity.