Early civilization in Klang is believed to exist since the Bronze Age where various metal and bronze artefacts around the area. Some of the artefacts related to the community in the prehistoric era include metal with sockets, Dongson drum and bronze bell. Researchers believe the metal with sockets artefacts were produced locally while the bronze artefacts were brought in from some other place for bartering with tin and forest produce. This discovery proves that there was interaction between the early residences of Klang with the outside world that existed through trading. Research also has shown that most of the earliest trading hubs in Selangor, including Klang, were situated near riverbanks. Thus, this further strengthens the importance of rivers since the early ages as food source and allowing connectivity – in which became the foundation of human socio-cultural development. According to the researcher for the history of Selangor, Faisal Surani, Klang has a long line of history. Prior to the discovery of the Bronze Age artefacts, Klang is believed to be 2,500 years old and based on artefacts found from the Stone Age, Klang has been occupied since 4,500 years ago.
In other aspects, there have been various theories proposed regarding the origins of the name ‘Klang’. Some believe that the name was derived from the Mon-Khymer language – ‘Klong, which means ‘warehouse’ since Klang is known to play the role of an important trading port that accommodate plenty of storehouses and warehouses. Others believe that the name ‘Klang’ refers to the abundance of waterways and canals in the area. Another theory regarding the origin of the name Klang is that it was inspired by the sound of bells on the hills. Some also say that it is derived from the Minangkabau word “kolang”, which means the place that visitors will always reminisce about.
Plenty of Klang’s history was passed down through generations through ‘tambo’, which means verbal story-telling. In Klang, these tambos are stories of the past which passed down through generations after generations that was done verbally, especially among high-ranked families as well as the Aborigines. The tambos also have similarities of those from Negeri Sembilan. Other than Chinese writings, Desawarnana and Malay History, two of the tambos did mention Klang as a kingdom that had a complete and just government. The origins of Klang’s name were also mentioned in some of the tambos. One of the Aborigines’ tambos mentioned that the name ‘Klang’ was derived from the word ‘gelang’ (bracelet) in which one was drifted along the headwaters of Klang Rivers and found at the outfall of the river.
As we go through the history of Klang, it is believed that it was once under the governance of Srivijaya and the Malaccan Sultanate before falling under the power of the Old Johor Sultanate. After the Selangor Sultanate was established during the 18th century, only then that Klang joined the kingdom as one of its districts.
Klang was the focus for repository and trading of tin during the 19th century. In accordance with the rise of the tin industry, there were disputes for power over Klang among the rulers until it caused the Selangor civil war in 1867 till 1874. The war broke when Raja Mahadi wanted to claim the land over Raja Abdullah as the land used to belong to his father before the tin boom happened which had prospered the land. He lost the battle for power as the British took matters onto their hands, backing Raja Abdullah for benefit. Klang became an important district only after the fall of Kuala Selangor that faced a major downfall after the death of His Highness Sultan Muhammad in 1857. After 1874, the British colony had chosen Klang as their administration center till 1880 before moving to Kuala Lumpur.