The Independence Square or the Dataran Merdeka, which literally translates to “Independence Square”, was the place where the first Malayan flag was raised in 1957 when Malaysia gained its independence from British rule.
It was in this place that the people of Malaysia first triumphed as the Union Jack was lowered, signifying the end of the British control of its former colony. And on the 31st of August 1957, headed by Malaysia’s first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia celebrated its first official day of being an independent nation and raised the flag that symbolized their freedom.
The Malaysian flag flying proudly, on a 100 meter-high flagpole, does not only symbolize their victory, but also the courage of the men and women who fight for their country. The flag and the flagpole, which is said to be the highest in the whole world, is the main attraction of the square.
The Merdeka Square is located in a field originally owned by the Royal Selangor Club, which still stands close to the square. This field, which was the center of activity in the old days, nowadays still serves as a venue for many sports activities in the city like cricket, and as a parade ground for Malaysia’s Police and Armed Forces. The Malaysian Armed Forces and the Royal Malaysian Police bands alternately perform every third Saturday of the month at 5:00 P.M. National celebrations like New Year countdowns are also regularly held here.
In addition, the open landscaped space is also a great venue from which to view the shape of Kuala Lumpur’s tall buildings against its sky. The Kuala Lumpur’s skyline at night is breathtaking. Furthermore, you’ll see lots of interesting structures around that all have colorful histories and hold historical significance in the country. But whether you find history or building design interesting, the place inspires amazement and will make you feel like you’re going back in time.
The Royal Selangor Club, along with other edifices near and around the Merdeka Square, is noteworthy for its architecture reminiscent of the British colonial period. Built in 1890, the Royal Selangor Club used to be a bar where members of the high society of Kuala Lumpur regularly meet.
And there’s also the Sultan Abdul Samad building. This building was constructed in 1897 remarkable for its ornate curving decorations. It was the seat of many administrative agencies of the government during the British colony.
Indeed, you’ll find a lot of entertainment in the square, including a large LCD screen where main events and live telecasts of events happening in the country are shown. In addition, underneath the Independence Square is the Plaza Putra where food and various kinds of entertainment can be found. A car park is also available for visitors bringing their cars.
The Independence Square is one of the many places in Malaysia you should consider visiting not just for its historical significance. The beautiful surroundings, impressive architecture enclosing the square, the well-maintained landscaped gardens, terraces and fountains all present good photo opportunities for photographic remembrance you can take home with you: wonderful memories and enjoyable moments of your holiday vacation in Malaysia.