The National Monument Kuala Lumpur or Tugu Negara was built to recognise and honour those who gave up their lives in the cause for peace and freedom, particularly during the nation’s struggle against the threat of Communism (the period of Emergency).
The memorial site where the Tugu Negara stands is located within the tranquil Lake Gardens, close by to the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, occupying an area of approximately 48,562 sq m.
The National Monument Kuala Lumpur is one of the largest freestanding sculptures in the world. In honour of the nation’s heroes, the “last post” is sounded every Saturday from 6.00 p.m.to 6.10 p.m. (except on public holidays).
Diorama of Seven Bronze Statues
There are five principal components that comprise the memorial site:
- the monument itself
- a long rectangular reflecting pool with fountain
- a crescent-shaped pavillion
- the cenotaph
- the ancillary gardens.
The National Monument is situated at the centre of the reflecting pool.
The monument stands at 15.54m high, and is made up of a diorama of seven bronze human figures, atop an oblong base. Each figure at the National Monument denotes one of seven qualities:
Dedicated to The Heroic Fighters
The topmost figure, at the centre of the National Monument, holds aloft the Malaysian flag. He is flanked on the left and right by two other soldiers, both armed — the figure on the left is armed with a machinegun, while the other carries a rifle and a bayonet.
Kneeling slightly on the rightside of the central figure is a fourth soldier, who is tending to a fifth wounded compatriot. To the front and below these five figures are two fallen enemies.
The granite base of the monument bears only inscriptions in English with Roman script and Malay with Jawi script:
“Dedicated to the heroic fighters in the cause of peace and freedom, May the blessing of Allah be upon them”
In 1975, the monument suffered extensive damage due to an explosion set off by a communist terrorist. It has since been restored to its original state.
The National Monument Kuala Lumpur was designed by the famous American sculptor Felix de Weldon, who also designed the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington. The National Moument was built at a cost of RM600,000. The National Monument memorial site, which was completed in 1966, took over five years to construct.
Asean Sculpture Gardens
Not far from the Tugu Negara, you can find the Asean Sculpture Gardens and the Memorial Tun Razak, which houses memorabilia of Malaysia’s second Prime Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein.
The Asean Sculpture Garden nearby is a very beautiful garden. You can explore the garden and enjoy the completely different sculptures in the park. It has a collection of prize-winning sculptures by some of the finest artists in the ASEAN region.
How to Get to The National Monument
If you are driving from Petaling Jaya, take the Jalan Damansara to Jalan Bangsar route. Then go towards the downhill flyover that heads towards the city centre. Continue your journey by taking the Jalan Parlimen flyover that is on your right. You will come up to the Lake Gardens traffic lights, at which you should take a left turn to Persiaran Sultan Salahuddin.
If you are using public transport and are coming in from the city, just board any bus that is going to Damansara and alight at the Lake Gardens bus stop. If you’re coming from Petaling Jaya, board any city-bound bus that goes through Damansara. Stop at Padang Merbok.
Opening Hours : 7.00 am to 6.00pm