Larry Lam's Guide Note


The National Monument is located on a hill in the Lake Gardens. The whole area reserved for the National Monument occupies 4.86 hectares (about 12 acres) of which one third is the actual levelled crest of the hill. The building of the monument was initiated by Tunku Abdul Rahman, our 1st Prime Minister to commemorate those who died in the cause of peace and freedom . There are five principal features in the memorial area:-


The Monument, comprising seven bronze figures, stand on a oblong base in the centre of a reflecting pool. The monument's base is made from a polished emerald coloured stone specially mined from the Arctic Circle. The figures represent different branches of the Malaysian security forces in combat uniform. Five of them depict the victorious security forces. The top-most central figure, the only unarmed, holds the Malaysian flag. Lower down, to the left and right of the central figures are 2 soldiers, one holding a rifle and bayonet and the other a machine-gun. In the centre between them are 2 other soldiers, one wounded, the other giving him aid and comfort. This symbolises leadership, unity, strength, vigilance, suffering, sacrifice and courage of our heroic fighters. Below them are 2 fallen enemies. Taken as a whole, the monument represents the triumph of the forces of democracy, peace and freedom over the forces of evil.

The monument is created by American sculptor, Felix de Weldon. (He also designed the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington DC). The monument was initially created in plaster in his studio in Washington and cast in the Via Appia foundry in Rome, Italy. It cost RM600,000 and was completed in 1965. The entire sculpture weighs 243 tonnes.

In the early morning of 26th August, 1975, the monument was partly damaged by a bomb planted by terrorists. It was reopened to public in mid-1977 after restoration work has been done.


A crescent shaped pavilion leads to the monument. The pavilion has a flat roof, topped with 3 golden domes, each with a pointed bronze spire. The central dome is topped with a star and crescent. The floor of the dome is made from Langkawi white marble.

The names of those who have fallen during our wars are eternally remembered and retained on microfilm in a vault located in an area below the central dome. The area has been cordoned off by a black metal grille partition with diamond shaped designs. The ceiling of the pavilion is decorated with insignias and ensigns of the various armies who have fought in our wars.


The Cenotaph stands north of the Pavilion on a 7 stepped rectangular base. It measures 45 ft high. The granite structure was built in 1921 to commemmorate the fallen troops in WWI, later the names of those who fell in WWII and the Emergency were added to the roll of honour.

The Cenotaph was originally placed at Victoria Avenue (now called Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin) near the KL Railway Station. It was taken apart piece by piece in November 1961 and reassembled at its present site when the National Monument was built.


The monument stands in the middle of a pool 280 ft long 101 ft wide. 42 high shooting fountains and 22 small fountains are located in the pool at the front of monument.

At the back of the monument, the pool takes a semi-circular shape and is decorated by a round dish fountain surrounded by 16 artificial blooming waterlilies. 3 leaves are attached to each stalk of the flower. These blossoms are made of pewter. Pewter is an alloy of which the main component is tin, the metal which led to the founding of Kuala Lumpur.


The ASEAN Garden, which lies on the left of the entrance to the Monument, comprises of 6 sculptures from Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Phillippines and Malaysia. It was officially opened in 1987 to commemorate the 20th anniversary of ASEAN (the Association of South-East Asian Nations). It represents unity and co-operation amongst member nations and the sculptures symbolise the rich culture and tradition present.

The sculptures are:
'The Gate of Harmony' by Dolorosa Sinaga, Indonesia
'Towards Peace' by Han Sai Por, Singapore
'Progress' by Itthi Khongkhakul, Thailand
'The ASEAN Dance' by Abu Bakar bin Abdul Rahman, Brunei Darussalam
'Barong barong' by Jerusalino V Araos, Phillippines and
'Growth' by Syed Ahmad Jamal, Malaysia.

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Last updated: 10th February, 2003.
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