See how KL used to look with these flashback photos from 1975

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This is part of a flashback editorial series on all things Malaysian. You can check out other flashback articles in the series for a journey through Malaysia’s past.

Flickr user ‘Savidge Family‘ has posted some amazing photos of Kuala Lumpur and around, taken way back in 1975! Here they are, in all their untouched glory, plus their original captions:

kuala lumpur in 1975
Arriving at KL on 2nd August 1975
kuala lumpur in 1975 (1)
Below ground level: Start of a new highrise hotel
kuala lumpur in 1975 (2)
View from the room at the Hilton
kuala lumpur in 1975 (3)
Street scene, Kuala Lumpur: A fair bit of advertising.
kuala lumpur in 1975 (4)
A duck runner: He looked like he was on a mission to deliver the ducks in the back streets.
kuala lumpur in 1975 (5)
Temple: All these young girls were very well mannered and were quite shy to pose.
kuala lumpur in 1975 (6)
Head of Malaysia Palace
kuala lumpur in 1975 (7)
Polished Marble: There wasn’t a speck of dust anywhere.
kuala lumpur in 1975 (8)
From the rubber tree: The small bowl collects the latex from the rubber tree.
kuala lumpur in 1975 (9)
Colourful children’s clothes: Very obliging and always happy
kuala lumpur in 1975 (10)
Climb those stairs: Shrine up in the hills – about 270 stairs.
kuala lumpur in 1975 (11)
From the entrance: Not a bad view from the entrance to the shrine / cave of Batu Caves
kuala lumpur in 1975 (13)
Inside the cave: After the 270 odd steps in the tropical heat it was quite cool inside.
kuala lumpur in 1975 (14)
Bullocks and timber: They are very well fed animals
kuala lumpur in 1975 (15)
Street market at night
kuala lumpur in 1975 (16)
Food for thought: One of the many food stalls.
kuala lumpur in 1975 (17)
Sugar cane juicer
kuala lumpur in 1975 (18)
Street market: Imagine putting this out and putting it away every day.
kuala lumpur in 1975 (22)
Clash of cultures: Indian style railway Station, German car and Japanese scooters
kuala lumpur in 1975 (23)
Polished marble: Polished floors and gold leaf at the top and bottom of the columns throughout the temple.
kuala lumpur in 1975 (24)
Fruit market
kuala lumpur in 1975 (25)
Pewter maker
kuala lumpur in 1975 (26)
Pewter factory: The price tag on the jug second from the left is $66.50 – presumably US
kuala lumpur in 1975 (27)
Horse racing club
kuala lumpur in 1975 (28)
Drying latex: Rack after rack of latex drying in the sun
kuala lumpur in 1975 (29)
Fireman: Not an ounce of fat on him as he keeps the fire going for latex production
kuala lumpur in 1975 (30)
kuala lumpur in 1975 (31)
Sumatran rhinoceros
kuala lumpur in 1975 (32)
Rubber plantation [Ed: the original caption said ‘Coffee plantation’ but we have corrected it]
kuala lumpur in 1975 (34)
Women building roads
kuala lumpur in 1975 (35)
Local shops: One of the papers was “Ultusan Malaysia” whatever that means [ed: it means ‘The Malaysian Courier’]
kuala lumpur in 1975 (36)
Material printing: Hand held inking pad onto dress material.
kuala lumpur in 1975 (37)
Hilton hotel room
kuala lumpur in 1975 (38)
Street market
kuala lumpur in 1975 (19)
Kuala Lumpur Airport: The airport had been commandeered by some radical group for several hours and allowed very few planes to leave.

See Also: What The Underground Music Scene in Malaysia Looked Like in 1999

If you have captivating photos of Malaysia from the past that you’d like to share and turn into an article on ExpatGo, email us your thoughts at [email protected] 

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The street look like taiwan with a lot of Chinese signage… now we can only see this in Taiwan or Japan. ..


Even in Sibu, Sarawak here, presently, all new road signage do not have any Mandarin wordings, this is what it is so called SATU MALAYSIA …


Malaysia is so stupid… being a country that is cater for multiple races and cultural that should be there strength….. by having the signage in English mandarin , Malay and tamil does not weaken the country but make us stronger. …. narrow mentality and idealistic mentality of our pass leadership have put our country 30 year behind ….

Myocho Kan

Malaysia is not stupid. The Government managed by stupid people making stupid statements and doing stupid things is. It is because there are still many other good and smart common Malaysians, Malaysia can still struggle to stand firm to be respected!

Wayne Wf

KL today: Bangla town. Period.

Suresh Ram Ramakrishnan

harmony obtained gone…don’t know where?

Norizah Hj Redzuan

The caption for coffee plantation is incorrect, because the photo shows rubber plantation.


Thanks Norizah, we’ve edited the article

Chua Kuan Zhen

nice pictures but that was a white rhino not a sumatran


What makes you say that Chua? White rhinos are from Africa normally…

Chua Kuan Zhen

It’s a white rhino in a zoo. A Sumatran rhino does not look like that.

Rave Raves

Sharlvinie Karunakaran 😉


Thanks for the tip Redza 🙂

Fedzel Abdul

I miss the 40 cent roti canai…

Kelvin Joseph

40 cent…like which year was tht….

Fedzel Abdul

Got la… I remember last time it was only 40cent

Veronica Rani Marianatha

Before its better than now with Jalan Silang in KL looking like Dhaka Bangladesh

Chandrasegaran Mariappan

In the name of development, very ugly development actually

Deepak Bharco

what memories.k.l. i remember

Saravana Kumaran

It was so much more peaceful then

Kher Shin

I prefer the old KL cos now it’s more like foreign land

Staffan O Kahn

remember this, those were the Days – – – – – –

Jennifer Weddle Liu

Some things look like they have stayed the same!

Aniz Hamid

Abdul Hameed dad.. Any nostalgia?

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