Tugu Negara, Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian National Monument
The Tugu Negara or National Monument was erected in honor of the the fallen heroes of the 1st and 2nd World Wars, as well as the Malayan Emergency from the years 1948 to 1960. It is located on a hill next to the Malaysian Parliament House.
With some friends from India at the National Monument
Quick Facts about Tugu Negara
- Official Opening: 8 February 1966
- Sculptor: Felix de Weldon (Austrian American)
- Height of Sculpture: 15 metres
- Area: 12 acres
History of the Tugu Negara Malaysia
A ceremony is held here every year on Heroes Day, 31st July, to mark the nations respect for the fallen heroes. Be there on that day and you'll get to see our national leaders in person. The ceremony is usually attended by the Malaysian King, the Prime Minister and the head of Royal Malaysian Armed Forces.
The monument comprises of the
- Central Pavilion
- Self-Reflecting Pool
- Bronze Statue
- Asean Gardens
You will be able to see words "To Our Glorious Dead" together with the years of the world wars and the period during the Malayan Emergency from 1948 to 1960.
The Cenotaph stands at the upper entrance of the Tugu Negara, on a 7 stepped rectangular base.
It measures 15 metres high. This granite structure was first built in 1921 to remember the fallen heroes of the 1st World War.
The names of those from the 2nd World War and the Malayan Emergency was added later.
The Cenotaph was first located at Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin (formerly called Victoria Avenue) near the old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.
It was removed from its former site to this site when the Tugu Negara was being built.
The Central Pavilion represents an interesting part of the Tugu Negara. Here you will find a crescent shaped pavilion with a flat roof topped with 3 golden domes with pointed bronze spires. The floor of the pavilion is made of marble from the island of Langkawi.
Below the central dome, you can see a vault inside the diamond-shaped black metal grille enclosure. Here the names of the fallen heroes are recorded on microfilm, to be kept for posterity.
On the ceiling of the Central Pavilion, you can see the emblems of the many regiments that served in Malaya during the 2nd World War and the Malayan Emergency.
The self-reflecting pool measures 90 metres long by 32 metres wide with high fountains in front of the bronze statue and low fountains behind it.
Next to the Central Pavilion you can see the semi-circular pool with waterlilies pewter. You can read more about pewter.
Bronze Monument (National Monument)
The bronze monument, which is sometime also referred to as The Malaysian National Monument, lies in the middle of the Self-Reflecting Pool. In front of this bronze monument lies a high-shooting water fountain which enhances the beauty of the sculpture.
The water fountain comes on and off automatically every 5 minutes.
This is the best spot to have your photos taken with the bronze monument as your background.
The idea of erecting the bronze monument came to the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj, Malaysia's first prime minister, in 1960 when he visited the USMC war memorial in Arlington.
The sculpture was casted in a foundry in Rome at a cost of RM600, 000.
The monument was designed by Felix de Weldon who also designed the famous USMC memorial in Arlington, Virginia, United States. The late Tunku managed to meet up with Felix and persuaded him to design one for Malaysia too.
You will see 7 bronze figures of soldiers, each of which symbolizes leadership, suffering, unity, vigilance, strength, courage and sacrifice. 5 of the figures represents the victorious allied forces while the other 2 figures that lie on the ground represents that of the defeated communist forces.
Overall the monument depicts the victory of the forces of democracy, peace and freedom over that of the communist and evil. By the way, communism is outlawed in Malaysia.
At the base of the sculpture is the inscription:
Dedicated to the heroic fighters in the cause of peace and freedom, May the blessing of Allah be upon them.
In 1975 the bronze monument was partially destroyed by a bomb planted by communist terrorist. However, the monument was restored 2 years later.
The Asean Garden comprises of sculptures contributed by famous artist from the respective member countries.
Membership of ASEAN
Originally there were 6 member countries, namely Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei and Philippines.
Asean today has 10 members, including Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar (formerly Burma). The Asean Garden was opened in 1987 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the founding of the Association of South East Asian Nations or ASEAN.
The sculptures represents the co-operation among the member nations and showcases the commitment of members towards harmony and progress of Asean countries.
Theme of the Original Sculptures are:
- Thailand - Progress by Itthi Khongkhakul
- Malaysia - Growth by Syed Ahmad Jamal
- Singapore - Towards Peace by Han Sai Por
- Indonesia - The Gate of Harmony by Dolorosa Sinaga
- Brunei - The ASEAN Dance by Abu Bakar bin Abdul Rahman
- Philippines - Barong barong by Jerusalino V Araos
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