With August and September being patriotic months for Malaysians, here are some places to go for a nice day out.
The months of August and September are patriotic months for Malaysians. On 31 August, Malaysians will be celebrating Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day on 16 September.
If you don’t want to twiddle your thumbs at home, here are some places you can revisit to get into the Merdeka spirit.
1. Tugu Negara and Taman Tugu | Kuala Lumpur
Tugu Negara, also known as the National Monument, was built in memory of the fallen soldiers in World War 1, World War 2, and the Emergency who helped defend and shape the future of Malaysia.
The bronze sculpture features a soldier holding up the Jalur Gemilang while being flanked by other soldiers wielding weapons.
Close by the National Monument is Taman Tugu, where you can go for a hike and bask in nature.
2. Independence Obelisk Stone | Melaka
Why are we looking at a rock? The Independence Obelisk Stone in Melaka has nothing to do with the Illuminati.
The obelisk acts as a marker of the spot where HG Hamment, the last British Resident commissioner of Melaka, handed over the instrument of independence of the state’s first governor, Tun Leong Yew Koh on 31 August 1957.
The letter ‘M’ in the centre of an 11-pointed star on the memorial stands for Merdeka.
3. Proclamation of Independence Memorial | Melaka
The Proclamation of Independence Memorial in Padang Pahlawan, Melaka, was established in 1912 and used to house the Malacca Club, a social centre for the British during British Malaya.
The memorial was set up and officiated by former Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman on 31 August 1985.
The two-storey Dutch colonial mansion is now home to a treasure trove of history showing the early days of Malaysia’s independence to modern development today.
4. Sultan Abdul Samad Building | Kuala Lumpur
The Sultan Abdul Samad building was named after the Sultan of Selangor at the time. People usually admire the building for its architecture as it features Western, gothic, and Moorish styles.
It used to house the Ministry of Information and Malaysia’s superior courts – the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Court of Appeals, and the High Court of Malaya.
It’s also where the British Union Jack was lowered when Malaya’s independence was proclaimed in 1957.
If admiring architecture isn’t your thing, you can always opt to take Instagram-worthy pictures of the building’s façade. It looks better at night. The building is also near cafes and restaurants.
5. Islamic Arts Museum | Kuala Lumpur
The Islamic Arts Museum is known as Southeast Asia’s largest Islamic museum. The museum houses various galleries from Quranic manuscripts to coin collections. The museum is also known for its collection of ancient Islamic glassware.
6. Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery | Kuala Lumpur
The Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery is where you can learn about Malaysian finance history and also admire artworks.
It’s interesting to see how the design of our currency changed over the years and the features of our Ringgit notes.
There’s also a Children’s Gallery which is packed with hands-on games and activities based on the idea of “Save, Spend, and Share.”
Visitors also go to the museum to take stylistic pictures, especially at the spiral staircase and the Ringgit tunnel.
7. Petronas Towers | Kuala Lumpur
Your “Merdeka” trip in the city isn’t complete if you did not stop by the tallest twin skyscrapers in the world. Here, you can take in the view of the city from the Observation Deck on the 86th floor and the Skybridge. There’s also a mini museum/display area showing how the idea to build the tower came to be.
8. Army Museum/ Muzium Tentera Darat | Port Dickson
Muzium Tentera Darat in Port Dickson is the largest army museum in Malaysia. It’s filled with artefacts and historical replicas from the Portuguese settlement until Malaya achieved its independence. Visitors get to learn about the sacrifices made by our nation’s soldiers like when they rescued American soldiers at the Battle of Mogadishu, which later became the basis of the Hollywood movie “Black Hawk Down.”
9. Pasir Salak Historical Complex | Perak
Pasir Salak is famous for being the place where JWW Birch, a British colonial official, was assassinated in 1875. He was killed on 2 November 1875 by followers of a local Malay chief, Maharaja Lela. The assassination led to the outbreak of the Perak War and the extension of British political influence over the Malay Peninsula.
While the “uprising” didn’t pan out, it made a mark in history.
The main attraction at the historical complex is the Time Tunnel housed in a traditional Malay building. The Time Tunnel features dioramas depicting important events in the history of the Malays and Malaysia beginning with the early settlement of Kuala Selingsing in 200BC.
10. Galeria Perdana | Langkawi
Personal opinions about the legendary statesman aside, the former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has an illustrious career.
Galeria Perdana is akin to a museum of Mahathir’s lifelong career in politics as it features the gifts he received over the years. The exhibits include an impressive array of musical instruments, artworks, plaques and even automobiles.
None of these places suit your fancy?
Worry not. Malaysia still has plenty of beautiful attractions and places to see.
Maybe plan a foodie road trip with family or friends to appreciate the beauty of our country and everything it has to offer. Cuti-cuti Malaysia can be done anywhere, anytime!