Did You Know: Bangsar Got Its Name From 2 European Men In The Early 1900s


Cover image via Sureplify & The Malaya Collective (Facebook)

Bangsar doesn't need an introduction

But do you know where this affluent neighbourhood got its name?

The origin story behind this quintessentially Malaysian urban township's name is quite interesting.

It all began in the early 20th century

The year was 1906 when Malaysia was still Malaya and under the British colonial rule.

At that time, a London-based company was incorporated to oversee some 600-hectare plantations in Kuala Lumpur to capitalise on the booming rubber price that was driven by the introduction of the modern motor car and pneumatic rubber tyres as a replacement for horse-drawn carriages in the US.

The company was Kuala Lumpur Rubber Co Ltd (KLR), which was then re-incorporated as a Malaysian multinational company by the name of Kuala Lumpur Kepong Berhad (KLK) in 1973.

While KLR, in 1906, had several board members, there were two men who were the first.

One of whom was Edouard Bunge (pronounced bun-ghee) while the other was Alfred Grisar, both Europeans.

And in those two men's names lies the history of how Bangsar came to be.

Bangsar, about 30 years ago.

Image via EatDrink


According to The Malaya Collective, a boutique brand and marketing agency that reached out to SAYS to share this interesting history, the two gentlemen's names were combined to create the Bunge-Grisar rubber estate.

The Bunge-Grisar rubber estate was further shortened to Bungsar Estate.

The estate was originally located at the crossroads between Jalan Damansara and Jalan Maarof, and was owned by KLR's plantation firm called Société Financière des Caoutchoucs (Socfin).

In those days, the Bungsar Estate was a "model estate" which was a regular visiting spot for curious expatriates and colonials to get a taste of estate life, according to writer Zakiah Koya.

Socfin then began selling the land to various private buyers to develop the estate into a township, one of which became Bangsar Park, the first area to be developed for housing in KL in 1969.

The Bungsar Estate was gradually localised into Bungsar, and thereafter into the present Bangsar.

Speaking of names, Damansara wasn't always known as such:

On the other hand, a Malaysian owns a piece of Singapore's most expensive land:

You may be interested in: