Photo: Think onions.

Merdeka Square

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Merdeka Square (or, as it is now officially known, Dataran Merdeka) is a breath of fresh air and offers not just the opportunity to lay about in the sunshine but also to observe a bit about the history of Malaysia.





When the Brits were still running the show, this grassy expanse was referred to as the Padang, or Parade Ground, and while it had an official purpose as a parade ground for official ceremonies, it was also used as a venue for cricket (and other sports). Today there is less cricket—and more local activities and rotating shows and exhibitions.

A challenging pitch for the fast bowlers. Photo taken in or around Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Stuart McDonald.

A challenging pitch for the fast bowlers. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Merdeka Square is the focal point for independence celebrations in Malaysia as, when the British were all out, it was here at midnight 30 August 1957, that the British flag was lowered and the new flag of Malaya was raised, followed by the national anthem and seven chants by onlookers of “Merdeka”.

Despite its importance in the formation of the nation, the square (well, really a rectangle) is ringed by spectacular historic buildings which were designed by the British. In recent years, considerable funds and effort have been spent beautifying both the buildings and the immediate riverside areas making the park a popular point of interest for visitors, regardless of the historical importance.

Expect crowds. Photo taken in or around Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Stuart McDonald.

Expect crowds. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Merdeka Square is orientated roughly in a north-south direction, so in a clockwise direction, you have the Royal Selangor Club at nine o’clock, St Mary’s Cathedral at eleven, the old supreme court at one o’clock, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building at three o’clock, the old post office at four o’clock, the Textile Museum at five o’clock, Kuala Lumpur City Gallery at six o’clock and Kuala Lumpur Library (not a historic building) at seven o’clock. Dizzy yet? Lets go through them one ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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Merdeka Square
Jalan Raya, Kuala Lumpur

Location map for Merdeka Square

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