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Istana Negara

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Malaysian Royal Insignia - Kuala Lumpur

Istana Negara, Kuala Lumpur

Quick Facts about Istana Negara

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Chan Wing

Quick Facts:

  • Born: 1873, Sun Wui (Xinhui) District, Pearl River Delta, Canton (Guangzhou)
  • Arrived in Malaya: 1887 at age 14
  • Made his fortune: 1897 at age 24 with the opening of Hong Fatt Tin Mine
  • Number of Wives: 8
  • Number of Children: 26
  • Died: 1947 at age of 74

More on Chan Wing


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It was originally built and owned by a very rich Chinese businessman by the name of Chan Wing. He lived with his family there till the 2nd World War. They migrated to Australia when the Japanese invaded Malaya.

During the Japanese occupation, the place was used as the Japanese Officers' Mess.

After the war, the Selangor State Government purchased it and it became the Selangor Sultan's Palace.

In 1957 the Federal Government took over the palace and turned it into the Istana Negara. The palace underwent many renovations, the most extensive was in 1980 when it was prepared to host the first installation of the Agung there. Prior to this, the installation ceremonies were held in the Tunku Abdul Rahman Hall in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur. That hall is today the Malaysia Tourism Center.

The Horse Guard and the Standing Guard
Istana Negara Standing Guard Istana Negara Horse Guard

What's in the Istana Negara?

What's visible at the gate of the Istana Negara:

East Wing

West Wing

Bilik Mesyuarat Raja-Raja situated in the West Wing is where The Conference of Rulers is held.

Other amenities at the Istana Negara

The present King and Queen of Malaysia
Malaysian King Malaysian Queen

The Malaysian Monarchy System

This is probably the only monarchy in the world which retains the title for no more that 5 years. This system came about as the Federation of Malaya, at the time of independence in 1957, had 9 royal families. And to be equitable, it was decided that they each take turns to be the paramount ruler of the Federation for a period of 5 years.

The present paramount ruler, known as The Agung, is the 13th. Agung of the country and hails from the state of Trengganu, in the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia.

His full name and title is Duli Yang Maha Mulia Al-Wathiqu Billah Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Mahmud Al-Muktafi Billah Shah. Better known as Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin. Tuanku is the title for King.

See Agong or Agung for details about election and functions of the Malaysia King.

See Yang di-Pertuan Agung for a list of all the Malaysian Kings.

Mizan Zainal Abidin

Quick Facts

Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin is the 16th Sultan of Trengganu. He became the youngest Sultan of Trengganu (age 26) and the 2nd youngest Agung of Malaysia (age 44). The youngest Agung was Tuanku Syed Putra of Perlis at age 41 in 1961. Tuanku Mizan is also the first king born after the Independence of Malaysia.

While Tuanku Mizan holds the title of Agung, his eldest son, Tengku Muhammad Ismail, was installed as Regent of Trengganu. He was 8 years old when appointed in 2006. Due to the Regent's young age, a 3-member Regency Advisory Council was set up to discharge the duties on behalf of the Regent. The Advisory Council is headed by Tuanku Mizan's brother, Raja Tengku Baderulzaman.

The New Istana Negara

A new palace is being constructed at a cost of RM400 million to replace this Istana Negara. It is located in Jalan Duta, on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. It is scheduled to be completed in 2009. It sits atop a hill covering an area of 241 acres, almost 10 times the size of the existing Istana Negara. Apparently the existing Balairong Seri is no longer suitable to host banquets and meetings.

And what will happen to the current palace? It's fate has yet to be decided at the time of writing this article. Speculations are that it will be turned into a royal museum. This just shows how rich Malaysia is.

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