The National Monument is located 50m along Jalan Tamingsabi, at the northern end of the Lake Gardens on Jalan Parlimen. The 15m-high bronze statue is dedicated to the 11,000 people who died during the First World War, the struggle against the Japanese and the Malayan Emergency. Providing excellent views of Parliament House, it was built in 1966 and features the inscription ‘To Our Glorious Dead of the First World War (1914-1918), Second World War (1939-1945) and the Emergency (1948-1960).’ The world's tallest freestanding bronze sculpture grouping, the monument of seven soldiers standing and supporting their fallen comrades was designed by Felix de Weldon, the same noteworthy designer who worked on the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington DC. Each figure denotes one of seven qualities: courage, leadership, sacrifice, strength, suffering, unity and vigilance.
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History of Malayan National Liberation Army
The Malayan Emergency (also known as the Communist Emergency) was a 12-year battle waged between Commonwealth armed forces and the Malayan National Liberation Army (MNLA), the military arm of the Malayan Communist Party. Unfortunately, though the state of emergency was lifted in 1960, members of the banned Communist Party placed a bomb under the sculpture in 1975 but thankfully the memorial was saved.
The first National Monument, a cenotaph, was set up by the British government to commemorate WWI, WWII and honour the fallen heroes of the Malayan Emergency. The second, and present, RM600, 000 National Monument took over five years to construct.
The National Monument is surrounded by a moat with fountains and ornamental pewter lilies. Just beside the National Monument sculpture is the Asean Sculpture Garden. Here, abstract art pieces made of marble, iron, wood and bamboo, from neighbouring ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) countries are displayed.
The Malaysian Houses of Parliament are situated beside the monument. One of Malaysia’s protected landmarks; a soldier raises the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian flag) at dawn everyday and lowers it at dusk. Every July 31 (Warriors Day), a wreath-laying ceremony takes place at the National Monument. Interestingly, a new monument is set to be built in Putrajaya, the country's administrative capital.
National Monument Kuala Lumpur
- Opening Hours: 07:00 – 18:00
- Location: Jalan Tamingsabi
- Address: Jalan Parlimen, Kuala Lumpur 50480 Malaysia
- Tel: +603-2615-8188