EXPLORE THE CITY
Masjid Jamek LRT — an arts hub in vibrant Kuala Lumpur
Monday 29 May 2017
Kuala Lumpur
A collaboration between RapidKL, The Malay Mail and RebeccaSaw.com
Commuters watch a cultural show, one of the many performances under the Arts on the Move initiative.
KUALA LUMPUR, May 29 — It was peak hour (about 5pm) when we arrived at the Masjid Jamek LRT (Light Rail Transit) station in Kuala Lumpur but the rain and crowds of people racing to get home after work did nothing to bother us.
This was thanks to Jason Lim and Sheikh Hady Basmeih, a duo who made the buzzing station musically inviting as they played catchy tunes on violin and guitar respectively.
Their instrumental rendition of hits such as Kau Ilhamku, Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You and more were a welcoming treat to the senses. Despite it being rush hour, some LRT commuters stopped to appreciate their talents or record their performance on their smartphones.
Dancers Rizman Sarbini and Pengiran Khairul Qayyum Awang Omar also got the crowd’s attention. They each presented a contemporary solo dance as well as a duet.
“It’s exciting for us to showcase our dances in front of a non-paying audience. There’s a story behind each performance and we hope they will be able to decipher it or at least be entertained,” said Sarbini. 
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    They are part of the performing lineup under Arts on the Move, an initiative by Think City Sdn Bhd and Prasarana Malaysia Berhad, which showcases artistic talents from 5pm to 7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Each day features a different act. This will run until December. 

    “The idea (behind the initiative) is to make the city more vibrant so we showcase in non-traditional spaces such as this. We started in April last year with not just performances by established dancers and musicians but visual exhibitions too,” explained Think City’s consultant Susie Kukathas.
    There is an art mural project by the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) entitled There is Always Hope, which features the stories of domestic violence survivors along a wall in the station’s underground tunnel. The display is on until mid-May.
    As an added convenience, commuters have access to ATM (CIMB and Maybank) machines as well as Samsung, Digi and UniFi kiosks at the station’s underground level.

    The Masjid Jamek LRT station is the interchange for the Kelana Jaya Line (underground) and Sri Petaling Line (elevated).
    Formerly in two separate buildings with limited pedestrian walkways, the station was integrated in 2006 to make it easier for commuters to transfer from one line to the other.
    Art mural project by the Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO),There is Always Hope
    Real life mural and prop outside the station.
    Situated in the station’s vicinity is Masjid Jamek, which sits at the junction of two rivers; Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak. Built in 1909 with an Indian-Muslim Mughal architectural influence, there is no doubt that the mosque — one of the city’s oldest — is a majestic sight. 

    Just a few steps outside the stop (via the Jalan Melayu, Jalan Masjid India exit) is a bargain hunter’s dream. There are rows and rows of pasar malam-style makeshift shops selling cheap items that include small, sparkling brooches priced at just RM1, t-shirts at RM10, kaftans, key chains and more.

    One kiosk stands out from the rest as it is the only one selling antique brassware. You can get a brass container that was used for burning incense in the old days for RM50 while a vintage charcoal iron that makes for a great conversation piece is priced at RM220.

    Another point of interest within walking distance is Dataran Merdeka, a historical landmark where the Malayan flag was hoisted for the first time at midnight on Aug 31, 1957 to mark the country’s independence from British rule.

    Opposite it is the Royal Selangor Club, a building which dates back to 1884. It was “the” meeting place for high-ranking members of British colonial society back in the day.
    Across the road from Dataran Merdeka is Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad, a late 19th century building that once housed the offices of the British colonial administration — it was then simply called the government offices.

    Needless to say, a stopover at the Masjid Jamek LRT station offers one lessons in the arts, culture and history. And let’s not forget, some smart shopping too. 

    * By Dazman Manan
Getting There
1. LRT Masjid Jamek
Jalan Tun Perak, Kuala Lumpur 

LRT/MRT: Masjid Jamek

Operating hours: 6am - 11.30pm
2. Dataran Merdeka
Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur

LRT/MRT: Masjid Jamek

Distance: 600 metres

From the stationAlight at Masjid Jamek Station. Walk along Jalan Tun Perak then turn left walk along Jalan Raja Laut.
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