Malaysia grenade blast: 5 things to know about Bukit Bintang

Police work at the scene of a grenade attack outside a shopping centre at Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS
Police work at the scene of a grenade attack outside a shopping centre at Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur on Oct 9, 2014. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

A hand grenade attack in the popular shopping district of Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday (Oct 9, 2014) has sent shudders through the local community and evoked fears of gangland turf battle.

Here are five things to know about Bukit Bintang.

1. It is the glitziest shopping stretch in Kuala Lumpur - the equivalent of Singapore's Orchard Road. It encompasses Jalan Bukit Bintang itself, which is more than 1km long, as well as the shopping centres, restaurants and cafes in surrounding areas.

2. It has for decades been home to popular, older malls such as Sungai Wang Plaza and Lot 10, as well as glitzier newer malls such as Fahrenheit 88 and Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.

3. Bukit Bintang means "Star Hill" in Malay. Incidentally, one of the swankiest malls in Bukit Bintang is Starhill Gallery, which houses luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton and Dior.

4. In 2012, the Bukit Bintang-Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) Tourism Association launched an annual lights parade in the area, in the hope of duplicating similar light-ups in Singapore and London. More than 500 lights were strung on street lamps and constructed archways in Bukit Bintang and the KLCC areas.

5. Bukit Bintang is not all about high-end restaurants and shopping. Its back alleys are considerably less developed and seedier, and populated by massage parlours, beggars and counterfeit watch sellers. Sun Complex, where the grenade blast took place, is located away from the main thoroughfare of Jalan Bukit Bintang and closer towards Pudu, where Kuala Lumpur's main downtown bus station is. Located across Sun Complex is Jalan Imbi, where Berjaya Times Square - a mall and apartment complex popular with Singaporeans - is located.