By Muhaimin Merican
Location and History
If you were to mention Kuala Selangor to someone not from the immediate area, their first thought would probably be related to either fireflies or the delectable seafood for which the district is popular.
However, the quiet district of Kuala Selangor offers more than meets the eye.
The Kuala Selangor District is comprised of 9 mukim (sub-districts) which are Api-Api, Bestari Jaya, Hujong Permatang, Hulu Tinggi, Ijok, Jeram, Kuala Selangor, Pasangan and Tanjung Karang.
Most of the tourist attractions here centre on the town’s rich history as the first capital of the Selangor state.
Believed to have existed since the 16th century, Kuala Selangor was inhabited and led by a woman named Opu Cendera Burung before five sons of a Bugis king arrived to rule the land.
At the heart of Kuala Selangor is Bukit Malawati and the fortress built on it to protect the kingdom. When Dutch attacked Melaka, Selangor came to its aid and made itself the target of the Dutch army. The Dutch came and conquered Bukit Malawati in 1784 before the Bugis Sultan wrested it back within a year.
Over the years, Kuala Selangor played a prominent role in our country’s history.
During the peak of the Klang war between Raja Abdullah and Raja Mahdi, Kuala Selangor was heavily involved as it was one of the disputed districts . In fact, during one of the conflicts, forces supporting Raja Mahdi had retreated to Kuala Selangor to avoid attacks by the opposing faction.
Kuala Selangor was the capital of Selangor until the royal family moved to Klang. Later, the state capital was changed to Shah Alam whilst Klang remained as the royal town for the state.
Economy of Kuala Selangor
Interestingly today, the economy of Kuala Selangor is driven by two major industries: local fisheries and tourism.
The fishing industry is a direct result of the district’s strategic geographical location at the mouth of the Selangor river where the rivers meets the sea. It has a unique variety of freshwater and saltwater fish that is present at the river basin.
The fishermen in Kuala Selangor offer some of the freshest seafood available and their catch is often shipped and delivered throughout Selangor on the same day that they are brought in from the open sea. The freshness and quality of its seafood brings in visitors from all over Selangor and because of this, the fishing villages of Kuala Selangor are dotted with seaside restaurants.
Kuala Selangor also hosts the Fresh Water Fish Aquarium, a large freshwater fish park which was developed by the Kuala Selangor District Office as one of the initiatives to boost tourism. The development of the park was begun in 2004, and the park began operations on 1 January, 2009.The Kuala Selangor Freshwater Fish Aquarium covers 5 acres of land and is located in the Taman Alam Forest Reserve.
The Freshwater Fish Aquarium boasts of at least 1,500 fish representing 60 species, such as the Alligator Gar Fish (Ikan Buaya), Giant Snakehead (Toman), Tor Tambra (Kelah), Golden Arowana (Kelisa), Walking Catfish (Keli) and many more. Most of the fish on display here are endemic species from the Selangor River.
Located about an hour away from Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Selangor is accessible to tourists and people who are not locals to the area by both bus and car.
If you intend to visit Kuala Selangor by bus, it is a little adventurous but the view would be very much worth the journey. Visitors who want to take the bus to Kuala Selangor can board Selangor Bus No. 100 from Medan Pasar Bus Hub in Kuala Lumpur. The bus departs half-hourly from Kuala Lumpur between 6.30 a.m. and 7.30 p.m., and takes 2 hours to reach the bus terminal at Bandar Malawati, Kuala Selangor. (The last bus for the return trip from Kuala Selangor to Kuala Lumpur is at 7.00 p.m.) The one-way fare is RM 9.00.
As an alternative, visitors can take any bus to Klang from Kuala Lumpur (these buses run more frequently). From Klang, take the Cityliner bus to Kuala Selangor/Bandar Malawati.
If you intend to travel by car to visit Kuala Selangor, the journey would take approximately 80 minutes. Make your way towards Sungai Buloh exit on the North-South PLUS highway and follow the road signs towards Kuala Selangor. Alternatively, if you are starting your journey from Klang, you can drive towards Kapar and head straight from there to Kuala Selangor.