Come tomorrow (31st August, 2011) Malaysians will celebrate its 54th National Day or Hari Merdeka (Independence Day).
We have gathered here 10 interesting facts about Malaysia to share with you.
1. We have roads in Kuala Lumpur named after many past historical figures and even entertainer like the late P. Ramlee. But do you know there is no road in Kuala Lumpur named after the Bapa Kemerdekaan (Father of Independence) or Bapa Malaysia (Father of Malaysia), Tunku Abdul Rahman?
The famous Jalan TAR is actually Jalan TUANKU Abdul Rahman (formerly Batu Road), not Jalan TUNKU Abdul Rahman, as many Malaysians have mistaken.
In fact Jalan TAR or Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman is named after the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Rahman.
2. In 2008, the name of a popular hawker food street called Jalan Alor, off Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur was suddenly changed to Jalan Kejora by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL)?
After much public outcry and the intervention of Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Zulhasnan Rafique, Jalan Kejora was back to Jalan Alor.
3. Talking about name-changing, just recently the newly-renovated bus terminal Puduraya was renamed it to Pudu Sentral, or rather Pudu Central. Probabaly because the Malay word “raya” doesn’t sound modern and of high
Rightly or wrongly, even Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak feels that using English word “Sentral” (Central) will reflect the 35 year-old terminal, a facility of high quality.
Then we should have kept many of those Kuala Lumpur street names in their original English names, which include Foch Avenue, High Street, Shaw Road, Davidson Road, Roger Road, Dickson Street, etc.
4. Do you know that Malaysia first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman married at least four times? His first wife, was a Thai Chinese woman called Meriam Chong. After Meriam Chong’s death, Tunku married his former landlady in England, named Violet Coulson. Then he was ordered to divorce her by the Regent of Kedah.
Next he married Sharifah Rodziah Syed Alwi Barakbah. HE then went on to marry secretly with another Chinese lady named Bibi Chong. (Wikipedia)
5. Do you know Malaysia national anthem “Negaraku” is said to be adapted from a Haiwaiian song, “Mamula Moon” by Felix Mendelssohn and His Hawaiian Serenaders back in 1940?
If you are not convinced, then listen to this video clip”
6. No doubt most Malaysian Chinese living, staying or working in Kuala Lumpur tend to speak Cantonese dialect, but do you know the founder of Kuala Lumpur Yap Ah Loy or Yap Tet Loy was a Hakka or Khek?
7. Hang Tuah Chinese? If you google for “Hang Tuah”, Google prompter will show you “Hang Tuah chinese” in the list. Whether this legendary hero who lived during the time of Sultan Mansur Shah of the Sultanate of Malacca in the 15th century, was a Malay, Chinese or Javanese, you go and find out for yourself.
8. Do you know that the scientific name of Malaysia national flower Bunga Raya is called Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis or Chinese Hibiscus? The word sinensis means chinese. As a species name, sinensis means “native to China”.
9. Do you know that former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir Mohamad was sacked from UMNO’s Supreme Council and expelled from the party?
10. Do you know Dr Mahathir’s book “The Malay Dilemma” was banned during Tunku Abdul Rahman’s time? The ban was lifted only after Mahathir became prime minister in 1981.