Thursday, November 22, 2012

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Memorial

The Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Memorial was established to commemorate the deeds of the nation's first prime minister and the significant events of his premiership. The memorial houses all legacies of the Tunku and permits the scholarly study of his leadership and government.

The memorial is about 600m from the Bank Negara KTM station with pleasant and peaceful surrounding. Entrance is free.

The memorial was established in 1994 when new buildings were added to the original, which was the official residence of the British Resident of Malaya. The building, known as The Residency, was made the official residence of the Tunku between 1957 and 1971. There after it was made part of the complex housing the Prime Minister's Department. It also housed the office of the National Unity Board.

Merdeka Agreement 1956 was signed between Tunku as the Head of the Federation of Malaya Merdeka Mission and Allan Lennox Boyd, the British Colonial Secretary on behalf of the British Government at Lancaster House, London on 8 February 1956.

Tunku in the ceremonial attire that he wore at the Merdeka ceremony on August 1957. The "Muscat Dress" is the attire of official from Kedah. It consists of a black taffeta silk open jacket with epaulettes and an inner white shirt with flowery neckline and gold braided pants and headgear. It was tailored by G.K. Sediris Appuhamy of Messrs Gian Singh and Co., KL.

Tunku wore an Albertini shoes (made in Italy) during the glorious Merdeka ceremony.

When Sultan Abdul Hamid, Tunku's father, travelled to England in 1911 for the coronation of King George V, he was attracted to a gold curio in the shape of an ornamental button which contained reproduction of the sphinx. Tunku adopted the button which he won at family raffle as his crest and added the word "dibebaskan". It means "freed" and refers to the freedom which Tunku brought to Malaysia in 1957.

The Residency is historical as it was the official residance of first British Resident, the first Chief Minister of Malaya and the first Prime Minister of Malaysia. Numerous official functions and activities have taken place within the walls of the residency. 

During British rule, it was the official home of the British Residents in Selangor. In 1880, it was relocated from Klang to its present site by the British Resident of Selangor, Captain E. Bloomfield Douglas at Brockman Road later renames Jalan Dato' Onn by Tunku in 1963. In 1888, Sir Frank Swettenham attempted a reconstruction of the Residency, on the same site, taking care to maintain the essential character of the original building. The Residency continued to be occupied by subsequent British Residents of Selangor until the outbreak of WW II.

This is a long table in this dining room that can accommodate 30 people. It was venue for official dinners and extraordinary Cabinet meetings that used to drag on even after normal working hours and right through the night. A number of major decisions were made in this room. The Tunku held official dinners here for Heads of Departments every month. The idea behind these dinners was to promote friendliness and goodwill among them.

This room was known as Cairo room on account of the chairs (white in colour) that were brought from Cairo. This room was used as a venue to hold discourse with foreign dignitaries.

This room is located in the front part of the Residency building and contains a number of lazy chairs and round tables. It was used as a waiting room during Tunku time.

Telephone with antic table and chair at the hallway inside the Residency.

On the first floor, inside Tunku's Master Bedrrom there are 2 single beds and a table with a small table lamp was placed in between. There is also a cupboard, a round table with 4 chairs are placed at the front entrance of the room. The Tunku had his tea here in the mornings as well as before playing golf in the evenings.

There are a number of guest rooms on the first floor. Each guest room has 2 single beds, a table and a table lamp. On one occasion, the room was occupied by an Ambassador, who was the guest of the Government.

This table was used for the 1st Cabinet Meeting on 10 September 1957. Back then there were less than 15 ministers.

The old office of Tunku is well depicted here from the meeting room, Prime Minister's Department staff office, private secretary office and Tunku's personal office space.

Tunku used to ride on these Chevrolet cars during his tenure as the Prime Minister. Such a classic vehicle and looks well maintained.

It is my opinion that the Residency is still fit to be the official residence for the nation's Prime Minister as well as been the office of the Prime Minister. It's definitely a masterpiece the nation can be proud of. 

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