Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur
Literally translated as “Independence Square“, Dataran Merdeka is an excellent locale to journey into KL’s past.
It was here that the Union Jack was lowered on 31st August 1957, signifying the end of British colonial rule. And at that moment, in front of thousands of thrilled Malaysians, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, led the famous chant: “Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!” (Independence!) proclaiming Malaysia’s independence as a nation.
A 100 metre-high flagpole rising from Merdeka Square is the tallest in the world, and marks the spot where the Malayan Flag was hoisted on August 31, 1957 signifying the independence of the country from British rule.
The Padang, or field, here was the focal point of Kuala Lumpur in the old days, serving as a police parade ground and venue for cricket and other sporting activities. The beautifully landscaped square provides impressive views of the city skyline.
Overlooking the square is the Selangor Club. Built around 1890, this charming mock-Tudor structure used to be a watering hole for Kuala Lumpur’s high society.
On the other side of the field is the Sultan Abdul Samad building. This Moorish beauty, completed in 1897, housed several important administrative departments during the British administration.
You may able to see the Malaysian Armed Forces and Royal Malaysian Police bands take turns to perform at the square every third Saturday of the month from 5pm to 6pm.
Dataran Merdeka is only about a five-minute walk from Central Market; just take the PUTRA LRT train to the Pasar Seni (Central Market) station, walk through Central Market and turn left, crossing the river. Merdeka Square is in front of the next traffic lights.