> > STORY Compiled by Ng Pau Ling, Viktor Chong & Lee Yan Li Bukit Jalil’s two-decade transformation shows the power of sports as an impetus for change M UCH has been said about the benefits of large-scale infrastructure spearheaded by governments throughout the world.
Mega projects, often involving a huge amount of taxpayers’ money, are seen as daring ventures with uncertain prospects despite most of them being launched after intensive research and careful deliberation.
The story of Bukit Jalil is testament to the transformative power of a large-scale infrastructure project and what it could do to a locality that was once no more than a wasteland.
Located about 15km south of Kuala Lumpur city centre, Bukit Jalil is now a vibrant suburb with lots to offer.
Its sky-high developments, majestic buildings, vast green park and flourishing township are a far cry from the area’s humble beginnings in 1992 when it was known as Bukit Jalil Estate among locals.
Remnants of a past; an estate primary school in Bukit Jalil In fact, part of the site used to be a landfill.
Bukit Jalil received its game-changing makeover when Malaysia won the bid on July 1992 to host the 16th Commonwealth Games of 1998.
The contract to build a world-class sporting facility in the form of the Nasional Sports Complex (NSC) was awarded to United Engineers Malaysia-Renong Bhd.
The NSC, which was constructed in six years, comprises the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, Putra Stadium, National Hockey Stadium, National Aquatic Centre and the National Squash Centre.
The national stadium was inaugurated by then Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Jan 1, 1998.
The project had propelled Malaysia to the world stage as a country that has achieved impressive growth since independence.
It would also prove to be one of the determining factors of Bukit Jalil’s transformation.
Since then, Bukit Jalil is synonymous with the moniker “National Stadium” and its status was further solidified when Malaysia won the bid to host the 2017 SEA Games.
In 2015, Malaysian Resources Corporation Bhd (MRCB) was awarded the contract to upgrade the NSC into Kuala Lumpur Sports City (KLSC) which covers the national stadium, Axiata Arena, National Aquatic Centre, National Squash Centre and National Hockey Stadium.
The Bukit Jalil National Stadium is among the 15 biggest stadiums in the world.
Developments in relation to the 1998 Commonwealth Games Stadium Bukit Jalil: Inaugurated on Jan 1, 1998 STAR Line LRT Phase 2: Chan Sow Lin to Sri Petaling Station.
Operations began on July 11, 1998 LDP: Completed in December 1998 National Sports Complex: Hosted the 16th Commonwealth Games opening ceremony on Sept 11, 1998 Vista Komanwel: Also known as the Athletes Village for the 16th Commonwealth Games How many LRT stations are there in Bukit Jalil? Join our contest at bit.ly/ExploreBukitJalil to win a calendar potted plant! >> BACK TO MAIN PAGE.