Wednesday, 29 December 2010

A Little Bit Of History - Dataran Merdeka

After our lunch at Malay Tea House in Central Market and admiring the architecture of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, it's time to admire the Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square).

A prominent landmark in the heart of Kuala Lumpur; the Square commemorates the historic event that occurred there, when at the stroke of midnight on 31 August 1957, the Union Jack was lowered for the last time and Malaya became an independent nation.
A view from the Dataran, of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.
This 100m (328 ft) high flagpole, reputedly the tallest in the world, soars above the Square.
Here's Raimie having fun running around the water fountain with scary gargoyles guarding at the Square. The water fountain was erected  in 1897 to commemorate Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
The Royal Selangor Club
The Padang (field) was the focal point of much activity during the colonial era and was originally the cricket green of the Selangor Club (now Royal Selangor Club).  It was originally owned by the Royal Selangor Club until 1987 when it was acquired by DBKL or City Hall. In place of the Padang, a piece of land at Bukit Kiara was given to the Club which now forms the Royal Selangor Club Kiara Annexe. 

The Padang was officially renamed Dataran Merdeka on 1 January 1990 in conjunction of Visit Malaysia Year 1990.

Trivia: Do you know that in 1926, after a bad flood (worst ever?) in Kuala Lumpur, the Padang was used to dry currency notes by Standard Chartered Bank? Wow! I wonder how the security was when all those cash were left drying in the sun like dried squids. :D

19 comments:

  1. It must be a spectacle - seeing all the notes laid out on the Padang! *green with envy, no... jealousy* :P

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  2. @ECL,
    Hahaha... lagi green with envy if some people managed to get those notes. ;O

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  3. i still remember when the world tallest flag pole was erected, we always like to go to Merdeka Square to take photo..

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  4. well, that was when we were still students, and i still keep all those photos.. i remember it was a challenge to take the whole pole into the photo, haha!!

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  5. was this the place where the public gathered to shout Merdeka after TAR, or was it Stadium Merdeka??

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  6. oh, i didn't know that incident in 1926!! wow, i guess there must be a lot of security guards guarding the notes for their safe "sun-bathing" for sure~~ :D

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  7. TAR shouted "Merdeka" at the stadium. The square was where the Union Jack came down first, if I got my history right. :D

    I never go to Dataran when I was a student but I did visit it a lot when I was in college. Last time, there was a Carl's Jr in the basement and I love their hotdogs there. Not so much of photo taking for me when I was younger though. XD

    I'd love to see all those notes sun-bathing and imagining it's my $$$. LOL

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  8. I like this place cos it's normally where most of my KL running races start ... hehehe ...

    Happy New Year to you and your family in case I don't get the chance to drop by before year end :D

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  9. @Nick,
    Yalah... you must've been to this place a lot!

    Happy new year to you and family too! :)

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  10. I am really enjoying all of your photos, really makes me want to travel!

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  11. @Lynne,
    Thanks! Glad you enjoyed the photos. I'll put up more in future. ^_^

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  12. Great pictures and story, Lina. Is the basement arcade still there?

    Never knew the fountain is this nice. Thanks for the closeup.

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  13. Lina,

    Betul ler...tak pernah perasan ada fountain kat situ.Owwwhh... maybe bcoz I went there during Pasar Malam TAR only....hehehe

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  14. @HappySurfer,
    I habe no idea... but can't see the entrance to the basement...

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  15. @Su,
    Ini tempat I bercintan-cintun dulu-dulu. Sebelum pegi pasar mlm Jln TAR. Muahaha

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  16. Nice photos. Wow! Really? Dried currency notes at the padang? First time hearing this!

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  17. @foong,
    It must've been a sight.

    I read it somewhere. I guess it won't do for most travel sites (esp M'sian's) to talk about flooding when talking about the pride of Dataran Merdeka. But you can find it in sites like RSC's about it. ;) But stuff like that makes the Square much more interesting. Don't you think so?

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  18. How come I enjoyed reading history here more than the boring b&w books? lol

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  19. @Ayie,
    Hahaha... History books are about the only books I can read without fslling asleep when I was a student. I's fell asleep within seconds of opening my COBOL book! LOL

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