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National Museum

Our rating:

As Malaysia’s National Museum, the large collection on display manages to be at times fascinating, frustrating and infuriating, but is certainly still worth the visit for those with an interest in the story behind modern-day Malaysia.





The most important point to emphasise is that while the National Museum is, well, the National Museum, there are in fact two other museums within the same area, the Museum of Malay World Ethnology and the Orang Asli Craft Museum. It is this latter museum, dedicated to the original inhabitants of Malaysia, which we found infuriating. Not, about the museum itself (it is quite interesting), but why the hell aren’t the Orang Asli in the main National Museum? One could suggest this sidelining of the Orang Asli is a reflection of real-life Malaysian governmental policy, but, whatever the reason, it is a poor state of affairs.

In the beginning there were rocks. Photo taken in or around National Museum, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Stuart McDonald.

In the beginning there were rocks. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Now we’ve got that off our chest, shall we get on with things? You need to walk past the Malay World Ethnology and the Orang Asli Craft Museums to reach the National Museum, where you need to then buy tickets for both—the ticket seller may not explain this to you when you ask to buy a ticket, so if you plan to visit all three museums, be sure to say so, as otherwise, if like us, you assume the one ticket is for the lot, when you try to walk into the Museum of Malay World Ethnology or the Orang Asli Craft Museum you’ll be sent back to buy another ticket.

Who comes up with these ideas?

Life pre-iPad. Photo taken in or around National Museum, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Stuart McDonald.

Life pre-iPad. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Established in 1963, the National Museum is on the site of the Selangor Museum which dated back to 1906. The original was bombed by a US B-29 bomber, destroying the right wing of the museum and the rest was flattened at the end of the war. The cool floor tiles in the main central area? A gift from the government ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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National Museum
Jalan Damansara
Mo–Su: 09:00–18:00
T: (03) 2267 1111 F: (03) 2267 1011;
http://www.muziumnegara.gov.my/
Admission: Adults 5 ringgit children (6-12 years) 2 ringgit, below 6 years, free

Location map for National Museum

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