Location: Close to the Royal Selangor Club
Highlights: 95-meter Flagpole
Significance: Dataran Merdeka marks the spot where the Malaysian
flag was hoisted for the first time.
How To Reach: One can easily reach Merdeka Square by hiring
taxis, or by boarding trains, buses from the city.
Dataran Merdeka is a prominent historical landmark sited in the central
Kuala Lumpur. Situated right opposite the Sultan Abdul Samad Building,
Merdeka Square marks the site where the Malayan flag was hoisted for the
first time (Aug' 31, 1957). Ever since, Dataran Merdeka is the venue for
the annual Hari Merdeka Parade (National Day Parade). In Malay language,
the term 'Dataran' means square and 'Merdeka' suggests independence.
That's why, the square is also known as Merdeka Square or Independence
Square. Earlier called the Selangor Club Padang, the Square was
initially the cricket ground of the Selangor Club. On 1 Jan' 1990, it
was formally opened for the public in tandem with Visit Malaysia Year
1990. While celebrating 50 years of independence on 31Aug' 2007, Prime
Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi shouted 'Merdeka!' on midnight carousing.
At the southern end of the square is the 95-meter flagpole, which is
one amongst the tallest in the world.
Square is properly maintained with well-laid out gardens, terraces, and
fountains. Here one can see a big screen which is used for the screening
of main events and live telecasts. Till day, the square is a popular
venue where important events are held, such as, the National Day
celebrations and New Year countdown.
Merdeka Square also made the starting line of the reality show, The
Amazing Race Asia 1. Nearby the square are several buildings of
historical interest, including Royal Selangor Club Complex, Sultan Abdul
Samad Building, National History Museum and Memorial Library, St. Mary's
Anglican cathedral, and Dayabumi Complex. Plaza Putra, a famous
entertainment center, lies beneath the Merdeka Square.