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The National Anthem and Flag
"Negara Ku"
Ben van Wijnen

Malaysian Flag

National Anthem of Malaysia <click>

 

The anthem was previously known in Malaya and Indonesia as a popular song entitled "Terang Bulan" (Moonlight), which has since been banned from being performed. In addition to the national anthem, there are also thirteen state anthems.

The Malaysian National Anthem, an adaptation of the Perak State Anthem, has special links to Sultan Abdullah of Perak who was exiled to the Seychelles by the British colonialists following the assassination of the state’s first British Resident (J.W.W Birch) in 1876.
The Anthem was selected by a special committee headed by Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj. Initially, a world-wide contest was held for the composition of a national anthem for the infant Federation of Malaya, but none of the entries including those from distinguished composers of international standing were found suitable.
The final selection, in a ceremony at the Police Depot in Kuala Lumpur on 5 August 1957, favoured the Perak State Anthem on account of its traditional flavour and melody. With the formation of Malaysia on September 16, 1963, it was adopted as the National Anthem of Malaysia.
On April 4, 1968, the National Language Act which makes any act of disrespect towards the National Anthem a punishable offence was gazetted. The honour of performing the National Anthem is restricted to designated individuals only. During the 1992 National Day celebrations, the National Anthem was given a faster beat to signal the dynamic progress of the nation.

MALAYSIAN LYRICS

Negara ku
Tanah tumpahnya darahku,
Rakyat hidup
bersatu dan maju,
Rahmat bahagia
tuhan kurniakan,
Raja kita
selamat bertahta,
Rahmat bahagia
tuhan kurniakan.
Raja kita
selamat bertakhta.
 

 


ENGLISH TRANSLATION
 
My country, my native land.
The people living united and progressive,
May God bestow blessing and happiness.
May our Ruler have a successful reign.
May God bestow blessing and happiness.
May our Ruler have a successful reign.
 
Words by: Tunku Abdul Rahman
Music by: Pierre Jean de Beranger
In use since: 1957 
The Malaysian flag or Jalur Gemilang consists of 14 horizontal red and white stripes of equal width; a dark blue canton occupying the upper left quarter of the flag; and within the canton, a crescent, and a 14-pointed star.

The stripes represent the equal status in the federation of the 13 member states - namely Johor, Kedah, Kelantan, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Perlis, Sabah, Sarawak, Selangor, Penang and Terengganu - and the Federal Government, as represented by the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur and Labuan.

 


Malaysia Boleh!

The phenomenal growth of Malaysia under the leadership of its fourth prime minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad has brought about a patriotic sense of achievement amongst its people.
The Government has led the way to show that Malaysians can excel in whatever they put their minds to, and this, in no small way, has produced a society that tries to outdo itself (sometimes at ridiculous levels, if truth be told) in the endeavours it pursues. Embodying this spirit is the slogan "Malaysia Boleh!" which loosely translated means "Malaysia Can Do It!" How this slogan came to be the "battle cry" of a nation is rather sketchy but the general belief is that it was the slogan used by a health beverage in its marketing campaign in the 80s.

It caught on and soon cries of Malaysia Boleh! were heard, first only at sporting events like the Commonwealth Games and Thomas Cup Finals, then later everywhere else as it was embraced wholeheartedly by the people as a means to push themselves to endure and accept challenge, to set targets, to excel. The "Malaysia Boleh!" spirit has since produced many achievers and achievements, and has been a cornerstone of the success story that is the new Malaysia.

 

Bunga Raya - Malaysia's Hibiscus

There are many varieties of the hibiscus, but the five-petaled Hibiscus rosa sinensis was chosen above the others, as the most symbolically relevant. The five petals of the bunga raya symbolise the Rukunegara (the Five Principles of Nationhood), while the colour red represents courage.
It is believed that the flower first arrived in Malaysia via trade from its original home in the Far East sometime before the 12th century.

The national flower, bunga raya, is known for its medicinal properties. The roots of the plant are used as a cure for fever and other ailments, while the juice obtained from the leaves and roots is said to be effective in relieving skin eruptions and glandular troubles. Also, the petals were commonly used as cosmetics to darken and highlight women's eyebrows.

 

 

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