Kluang


BACKGROUND AND PROGRESS
 From 1963 onwards the airfield was used by the British Army as a base for 4 aircraft workshops together with REME and a Gurkha regiment until the early 1970s when the base was closed down.  

Kluang lies in an area of undulating hills.  The highest point in Kluang is Gunung Lambak, a 510m tall mountain and one of the southernmost mountains in the Malaysian main range which lies not far from the town.  The Mengkibol River runs through the town. Kluang is landlocked and has no seafront.

Kluang is served by a railway and roads linking it to all neighbouring districts. It has a railway station as well as a bus interchange. The closest on-ramp to the North-South Highway is at Ayer Hitam although travellers approaching Kluang from the south may find exiting at Simpang Renggam more convenient. There is an airfield in Kluang but it is a military airfield, not a civilian one.

Urban sprawl in Kluang over the last three decades or so from the 1970s to 2000 has been roughly along the major roads. The town center itself has more than tripled in size in terms of the number and land area occupied by commercial and retail buildings in that time. 
 
Kluang initially grew as a rubber planting district. Rubber planting has, however, since then taken a back seat to other types of crops. Kluang now boasts large tracts of oil palm plantations as well as pineapple, koko and tea plantations. New kinds of plantation such as dragon fruit and organic vegetables are also popular. From its early days as an entirely agricultural economy, Kluang has developed various industries including polymer, paper, textiles, ceramics, industrial paints and electrical products. Most of Malaysia's major banks have branches in Kluang. In the last few years, several stock brokerages have opened shop in Kluang. 

From 1963 onwards the airfield was used by the British Army as a base for 4 aircraft workshops together with REME and a Gurkha regiment until the early 1970s when the base was closed down.  

Kluang lies in an area of undulating hills.  The highest point in Kluang is Gunung Lambak, a 510m tall mountain and one of the southernmost mountains in the Malaysian main range which lies not far from the town.  The Mengkibol River runs through the town. Kluang is landlocked and has no seafront.

Kluang is served by a railway and roads linking it to all neighbouring districts. It has a railway station as well as a bus interchange. The closest on-ramp to the North-South Highway is at Ayer Hitam although travellers approaching Kluang from the south may find exiting at Simpang Renggam more convenient. There is an airfield in Kluang but it is a military airfield, not a civilian one.

Urban sprawl in Kluang over the last three decades or so from the 1970s to 2000 has been roughly along the major roads. The town center itself has more than tripled in size in terms of the number and land area occupied by commercial and retail buildings in that time.

Kluang initially grew as a rubber planting district. Rubber planting has, however, since then taken a back seat to other types of crops. Kluang now boasts large tracts of oil palm plantations as well as pineapple, koko and tea plantations. New kinds of plantation such as dragon fruit and organic vegetables are also popular. From its early days as an entirely agricultural economy, Kluang has developed various industries including polymer, paper, textiles, ceramics, industrial paints and electrical products. Most of Malaysia's major banks have branches in Kluang. In the last few years, several stock brokerages have opened shop in Kluang.  

Kluang is served by a district hospital, a district police station and fire station. It has numerous primary schools, several secondary schools and a public library. Sekolah Menengah Sains Johor, a government boarding secondary school with a special emphasis on science subjects, was built in the 1970s on the outskirts of Kluang along the Batu Pahat road.

Kluang High School or Sekolah Tinggi Kluang is one of the best known schools in Kluang, and the Chong Hwa High School is the second biggest Chinese secondary school in Malaysia. A number of other schools were built between 2000 to 2006.

SHOPPING, LEISURE AND ENTERTAINMENT

For shop lovers,Kluang has 3 shopping malls,first established was BCB Plaza, then Kluang Parade while newly one is Kluang Mall.Interestingly enough, these 3 shopping malls and other convenient stores like The Store is in the same vicinity. It means you can park your vehicle at one place,and conveniently shop to any of these or perhaps visiting all. While for hypermarket lovers, you may opt to shop at Giant in Tmn Sri Kluang, further uptown from Kluang, approximately 10-15km from Kluang city centre.

Gunung Belumut and Gunung Lambak are popular with jungle trekkers. Besides, you can enjoy horse riding activities at Gunung Lambak.The area of Machap (on the road between Simpang Renggam and Air Hitam) is well known for its pottery and porcelain.

Also noteworthy is an authentic coffee shop located in no. 56, Jalan Lambak by the name of Tong Fong Cafe (a.k.a. Eastern Cafe) which was very popular with the British soldiers during the heyday when Malaya was still under British rule. The operator is a second generation descendant of the owner and the coffee shop has been operating since 1954.

Besides that, there are few shopping malls in Kluang town, like BCB Plaza, Kluang Parade and Kluang mall.

One of the charming places to visit in Kluang is the Kluang Railway station, in service since 1915. Like nearby Sungai Mengkibol, the railway passes through Kluang town, basically cutting it into two halves. As the main road into town regularly temporarily closes for trains to pass, local residents once said that when the trains approach Kluang Railway station, the entire Kluang town stands still; nowadays there are two railway bridges that bypass this bottleneck but the story remains. The station itself withstood the test of time and should be of interest for those who have passion for nostalgic photographs.

Today, the trains continue ferrying its passengers and passing through Kluang town, noisily but faithfully. Though trainspotting may not be a popular local pastime, take a walk to the canteen on nearby Jalan Omar, and you will find something else that will trigger old memories - really good coffee (reputedly the best local coffee in Malaysia), toasted breads and half boiled eggs. No visitors to Kluang should miss this local dish that is available for breakfast between 7.00am and 12.00noon and for afternoon tea between 2.30pm and 6.00pm.