Facing the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is Dataran Merdeka or Merdeka
Square, an immaculately-turfed 8.2 hectare area of historical interest.
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
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.
The Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square), a field fronting the Royal
Selangor Club, resounded to the cries of "Merdeka" on that night
and Malaysias converge on the square each year to relive the moment
the country gained its independence.
Formerly known as the Padang, the field was extensively used for
cricket, hockey, tennis and rugby matches until the mid-nineties
when the whole area was rebuilt to accommodate an underground parking
lot and shopping, restaurant, complex. Today, it is still used for
The Tudor-style Royal Selangor Club built in 1910 rests on one
corner of the square, where KL's elites meet. You may see a large
video screen displaying religious messages and advertisements here.
The Club served as a social centre for Kuala Lumpur's British
residents; its doors are now open to anyone who can afford the membership
fees. In keeping with die-hard customs women are still not allowed
entry to the bar, except by invitation.
At the opposite end of the square is an inviting spot where visitors
can relax amid soothing rushing waters of fountains, elegant colonnades
and colourful beds of zinnias and marigolds.
Beneath the square is Plaza Putra, an underground food, leisure
and entertainment complex.