Also Known as Dataran Merdeka (in Malay). ‘Merdeka’ in Malay means ‘Independence’. A black marble plaque marks the spot where the Union Jack was lowered for the last time at midnight on 30th August 1957 and the Malayan flag hoisted in its place.
The national flag today flies on the tallest flagpole in the world, standing at 100m (328ft). This was formerly the ground used cricket, hockey, tennis and rugby matches by the colonialist, fronting the famous mock-tudor building of Selangor Club which is only open to members.
Stroll across the road to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, now the Supreme Court, and one of the most photographed of the city’s landmarks. At night, see this magnificent building lit up, it is a pretty sight indeed. The road in front of this building, Jalan Raja, is off limits to traffic on Saturday nights when oungsters, lovers and families hang out there or stroll along the road and enjoying the night breeze and right lights.
This Merdeka square is also focus on the annual countdown to Independence Day, and at the stroke of midnight, the big clock at Sultan Abdul Samad Building strikes to herald 31 August. On 31 December very year, large crowds also gather here for the new year countdown.
National Monument (Tugu Negara)
This memorial commemorates those who fell in Malaysia’s struggles for freedom during the Malayan Emergency of 1946-60. It is located in the Federal capital, Kuala Lumpur. The Malaysian Houses of parliament is situated near the monument.
The monument depicts a group of soldiers holding the Malaysian national flag, the Jalur Gemilang, aloft. Each of the bronze figures symbolizes leadership, suffering, unity, vigilance, strength, courage and sacrifice.
The granite base of the monument bears only inscriptions in English with Roman script and Malay with Jawi script:
“Dedicated to the heroic fighters in the cause of peace and freedom, May the blessing of Allah be upon them”