Last October, I had only one day in Kuala Lumpur to go around, so I asked my friends to take me to interesting sites that can represent this beautiful city. We went to see the Petronas Towers, shopped at Petaling Jaya, observed a Hindu ceremony, ate lunch at Central Market, and at dusk, went to Merdeka Square to see the Sultan Abdul Samad Building light up.
Walking in the streets of Kuala Lumpur from Central Market was a treat in itself. The old structures looked gorgeous, and when we arrived in Merdeka Square, I was awed by the beauty of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Designed by British architect A.C. (Arthur Charles) Norman and built in 1894, it was inspired by the Moorish architecture that Norman saw in India.
The building—which used to be the administrative building of the British—was named after the sultan of Selangor at that time. When Malaysia finally became independent from British colonial rule in 1957, it housed different offices, from the Selangor State Secretariat, the Supreme Court, and to its present occupants, the offices of the Ministry of Information, Communications, and Culture of Malaysia.
From late afternoon onwards, the whole building lights up in different colors, from pink, to red, blue, and purple, changing so gradually before your eyes. While it’s beautiful, some think it’s tacky, and not befitting a building of its age and beauty. I’m not so sold out on it either, but I admit that seeing the lights at dusk does give it a certain kind of charm.
How to go to Merdeka Square: Take the LRT and get off at the Masjid Jamek Station. It’s less than 10 minutes walk, just ask around how to get here.
How about you? What do you think of the lighted up Sultan Abdul Samad Building?
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