Who would have guessed that Malaysia’s very own Tugu Negara or National Monument was designed by the very same person that designed the Marine Corps War Memorial in Virginia, USA, …. an Austrian sculptor by the name of Felix de Weldon.
The magnificent Tugu Negara bronze sculpture was erected in the honour of fallen heroes in Malaysia’s struggle for freedom especially against the Japanese Occupation during the World War 2 and the Malayan Emergency (1948 – 1960)
It was said that Malaysia’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman personally met Felix de Weldon for a favour to design the monument after being inspired from his visit to the Marine Corps War Memorial in October 1960.
This 15 feet bronze sculpture was commissioned in 1963 and constructed in 1966. It was casted in a foundry in Rome at a cost of RM600,000. The sculpture consists of 7 soldier figures and each symbolizes leadership, suffering, unity, vigilance, strength, courage and sacrifice.
Another interesting fact about the Tugu Negara is that it was partially destroyed as a result of a bomb set off by communist terrorist on 27 August 1975. It was restored and open for public viewing 2 years later in 1977 and has been safe ever since.
According to the officials, the stones of which the soldiers are standing on was imported from a small coastal city in South Eastern Sweden and at the base granite sculpture bears the inscription ‘Dedicated to the heroic fighters in the cause of peace and freedom, May the blessing of Allah be upon them’.
The Tugu Negara is located near the Parliament Building and it is open to public free of charge. Visiting hours is between 7am – 5pm.
Within the vicinity of Tugu Negara is another historical cenotaph which we will cover in our next post 🙂