Tunku Abdul Rahman (first Malaysian prime minister) was a founder of the International Quran Recital Competition. The program was started on 9 March 1961 at Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur and 7 countries took part in this competition including Singapore, Brunei, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Sarawak and Malaya. In 1985, the competition was moved to the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC).

The competition is somewhat resembling a national holiday. Every evening inhabitants and guests of the city (usually it is Kuala-Lumpur) gathered in the beautiful hall for the festive ceremony of the competition. On an opening day, the King and Prime Minister themselves visit the Competition. They personally welcome participants of the competition. The wives of the King and the Prime-Minister welcome female participants with handshakes.

According to muslim.ru and wikipedia