Every year on Merdeka Day, Merdeka Square hosts the celebrations of a nation and its people.
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Merdeka Square refers to a large field in Kuala Lumpur's city centre fronting the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. A beautiful expanse of green, the field is considered one of the most historically significant sites in the entire city. The official handover ceremony of the Malay Peninsula by the British to the newly elected government of the Federated States of Malaya took place at the field, along with the highly symbolic lowering of the Union Jack and the first ever hoisting of the Malayan flag at midnight on August 31, 1957. The actual spot where the flag raising ceremony was held is commemorated by an impressive 95 metre flagpole at the southern end of the field.
The historic moment is remembered especially during Independence Day, known as Merdeka Day, and the annual Merdeka Day parade has been traditionally held at the field. The parade often features a march pass by a raised podium in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, with dignitaries and government officials in attendance.
It is highly ironic that such a historical site would go through the years with the simple moniker of 'Padang', the Malay term for field. Finally in 1990, the field was officially renamed Dataran Merdeka, in conjunction with Malaysia's highly successful Visit Malaysia Year 1990 tourism campaign. Those who visit this historic site may often overlook the simple yet eloquent symbolism of a vast field as an expression of the universal concept of freedom and independence.
Merdeka Square is located along Jalan Raja, in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and is easily accessible by road.
Many intracity buses ply routes within walking distance surrounding the square, although there is no bus stops along the square.
By Light Rail Transit
The closest LRT station to Merdeka Square is the Masjid Jamek Station, along Jalan Tun Perak. From the station, visitors are required to walk northwest along Jalan Tun Perak, till they reach the intersection with Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. From there the square and its distinctive flagpole can be seen clearly across the Gombak River.