After another mediocre breakfast – only a tad better than the previous hotel’s, we climbed aboard a bus for a half day city tour of Kuala Lumpur.
First stop was at the National Memorial.
It’s a simple, but moving memorial to Malaysia’s fallen servicemen and women.
Our guide, who was more than a little interested in his own performance, pointed out the meaning of various parts of the Malay emblem which has been in use since 1988.
At the top, the 14 pointed star represents the thirteen states and the Federal Territories of Malaysia. The crescent, beneath the star, represents Islam, the official religion. These are both in yellow which symbolises the country’s monarchy.
The shield is supported by two Malaysian Tigers,traditional Malay symbols. They are retained from an earlier Malay armorial ensign.
The shield itself has five asymmetrical daggers (called kris) across the top; below that, are the four colours of the Federated Malay States (red, black, white and yellow). On either side of them are a Penang Palm (with extra stripes representing the Penang Bridge) and a Malacca Palm. And below them is the national flower of Malaysia, a Chinese Hibiscus (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis) that sits in between the state arms of Sabah and Sarawak.
The motto is Bersekutu Bertambah Mutu which means Unity is Strength.
Much thought obviously went into the design of the country’s emblem.
The Penang Bridge, a symbol of Malay’s progress on the coat of arms, is proudly recognised in Malaysia as an architectural wonder. It’s 16.9km (10.5m) long.
(Photo Wikipedia Commons)
The clean lines of the central memorial commemorate three wars Malaysia has fought… World Wars I and II and the ‘Malaysian Emergency’ against Britain from 1948 to 1960. The latter makes interesting reading on various sites on the internet… too complicated to go into on a web post such as this.
The National Monument.
This plaque describes the origins of the monument complex.
The National Monument is circular in construction. The columns, with their gold coloured bases, look as though they are floating. (They are very similar to the pillars used in the National Mosque we visited later… maybe the same architect. I’m not sure.)
Interesting patterns are created by the elements that make up the walls.
With the sun in the right position, the walk-way puts on a light and shade show.
A large statue sits in the middle of a shallow reflection pool.
Another on the many fountains that play water into the pools. The surrounding smaller fountains, in the shape of waterlilies, were not spraying water when we visited.
A view of the back of the sculpture with some of the KL skyline in the background.
A highly-perfumed frangipani bloomed beside a path we walked down.
An intriguing pattern was formed by these concrete steps.
Another pattern was formed by these rubber strips, cut from old tyres, which were used to hold back the soil on a steep bank. A good use for old rubber.
A natural erosion prevention method – the matted roots of a banyan tree.
Spider Lily (Hymenocallis littoralis)
After a pleasant visit to this well designed, maintained and thoughtful National Monument, our next stop was to another place of National pride, the National Mosque. More of that anon.
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