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MERDEKA SQUARE

ABOUT MERDEKA SQUARE
Merdeka Square, known as Dataran Merdeka, is a very famous landmark in Kuala Lumpur. Located in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and directly in front of the Royal Selangor Club, Merdeka Square is a massive field with a nicely manicured lawn and one of the world’s tallest flagpoles at approximately 95 metres high. This flagpole proudly boasts the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian flag). The large field at Merdeka Square is great for relaxing or having a picnic and is relatively close to Central Market, a vibrant shopping hub of art, textiles and food.


HISTORY
Malaysia used to be colonised by the British, which explains why there are traces of British culture found in Malaysian architecture, language and culture. The colonisation lasted for almost 180 years. On the night of 31 August 1957, hundreds of thousands of Malaysians flocked to Merdeka Square to witness a symbolic chapter in history. The nation’s prime minister at the time, Tunku Abdul Rahman, lowered the Union Jack flag and replaced it with the Malaysian Jalur Gemilang flag, marking the end of the British colonial rule and the start of Malaysia’s freedom. It was a truly significant moment in Malaysian history.

Many might not know this, but the massive field of Merdeka Square was once the Selangor Club cricket pitch. However, it wasn’t always a great big field. It was once a patch of swampy, uneven ground that was levelled and drained to be a training ground for the police. The land was originally named Parade Ground. In 1892, the Acting British Resident, Ernest Birch, decided to smooth the ground so it could be used for cricket and other sports.

< Source: rijalunsodaqu.wordpress.com >


FUN FACTS
Merdeka Square is maintained by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall until this day. Its flagpole is one of the tallest in the world and is situated at the southern end of the Square. A round black marble plaque symbolises the location where the flag was raised for the first time. A huge TV screen sits beside the tall flagpole, promoting flashing advertisements and religious messages. 

Merdeka Square is still a common spot for annual Independence Day parades, New Year countdowns, as well as political rallies and other major events. In fact, this was also the starting line of the popular reality TV show, The Amazing Race Asia 1.

< Source: Flickr.com >


DIRECTIONS
#1 Taxi or Grab | RM25 - RM30 | Approximately 30 - 40 mins
The easiest way to travel to Merdeka Square is by taxi or Grab. The cost is approximately between RM25 - RM30 from the hotel, depending on traffic conditions. The journey is about 16 kilometres long and will take approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

#2 Train / BRT (BRT / LRT) | RM3 - RM12 | Approximately 1 hr 10 mins
Board the BRT Sunway Line bus from Sunway Lagoon BRT Station to USJ7 Station. Then, take a 44 minutes LRT train ride (Kelana Jaya Line) from USJ7 to Masjid Jamek, and walk for about 9 minutes to Merdeka Square.


< Image credit (from left to right) - NHasan via Wikimedia Commons, tourism.gov.my, tourism.gov.my, tourism.gov.my and tourism.gov.my >

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