An Introduction to Setapak


Setapak is one of the major suburbs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This district is positioned in the north-eastern part of Kuala Lumpur and has an area of 160 km2. It is comprised of Gombak, hot spring new village (Kampung Baru Air Panas) and several other villages.


This suburb was a former tin-mining and rubber-plantation area. The Malay word “Tapak” means “step” and “Setapak” means “one step”, a likely reference to its close proximity to the locality of Kuala Lumpur City Centre. The origin of Setapak’s name also traces back to its historical roots, according to another explanation.

The aborigines and the Minangkabaus were the earliest inhabitants of Setapak. Frank Swettenham, the Resident of Selangor back in 1884, pleaded for the re-appointment of Batu Tapak as the headman of the aborigines living in the area on April 12th that same year. Thus, the name “Setapak” was formed, to honour the headman.

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