Then and now

  • Nation
  • Saturday, 31 Aug 2019

The nation's journey from past to present is recorded not just by the historical events that took place. It is also reflected in many iconic buildings, structures and locations throughout the country. Move the slider in each photo to reveal the changes over time.


Tugu Negara, Kuala Lumpur

  • Tugu Negara or the National Monument commemorates those who died in the nation's struggle for freedom, mainly against the Japanese Occupation and Malayan Emergency.

  • The 15m-tall monument commissioned in 1963 was designed by Austrian sculptor Felix de Weldon, with construction completed in 1966.

  • The 'then' photo taken in April 1977 shows Tugu Negara undergoing restoration following a 1975 attack by suspected communist who set off an explosion which damaged parts of the monument (Photo taken from the book Chronicle of Malaysia).

Parliament building, Kuala Lumpur

  • Parliament was originally housed in what is now known as the Malaysian Tourism Centre (Matic) in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

  • In 1959, a new site was chosen to house the legislature.

  • The third Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Syed Putra Al-Haj Ibni Almarhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail laid the foundation for the building on Nov 3, 1963.

Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur

  • The venue where Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj read the Proclamation of Independence, witnessed by 25,000 people.

  • Designed by architect Stanley Edward Jewkes, it was constructed from Sept 25, 1956 to Aug 21, 1957.

  • Served as the main venue for major sporting events and celebrations, including the famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner on June 30, 1975, in Kuala Lumpur.

Penang Hill Funicular Railway

  • The railway started operating in 1923 with wooden carriages.

  • The 'then' photo, recorded in film by former chief photographer Ng Ah Bak on Aug 20, 1982, shows a carriage that could carry up to 80 passengers. It was used from 1977 to 2010.

  • The new blue-and-white carriage is air-conditioned, holds up to 100 people and is a lot faster than the old days.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur

  • Constructed in 1896, the building with its Moghul and Moorish architecture, along with its 41-metre clock tower, was designed by architects Arthur Charles Alfred Norman, Arthur Benison Hubback and Regent Alfred John Bidwell.

  • Dataran Merdeka, located in front of the building, was where the Union Jack was lowered for the last time at midnight August 30, 1957, and replaced with the Malayan flag.

  • It originally housed offices of the British colonial administration, known simply as Government Offices before it was renamed after Sultan Abdul Samad in 1974, the reigning Sultan of Selangor at the time when construction began.

India Street, Kuching, Sarawak

  • Dating back over 140 years, India Street got its name from the Indian settlers who set up shop there, mainly in textiles.

  • It was called Kling Street in the 1850s but Rajah Charles Vyner Brooke changed the name to India Street in 1928.

  • The street was converted into a pedestrian mall in 1992. A roof for the street was built in 2016.

Sultan Abdul Halim Rapid Ferry Terminal, Penang

  • The terminal used to be much busier with cars waiting for ferries at the Butterworth side before the opening of Penang Bridge in 1985.

  • It was constructed to replace Mitchell's Pier, which was built at the start of the 20th century.

  • The terminal was named after Kedah Sultan Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu'adzam Shah.

Leaning Clock Tower of Teluk Intan, Perak

  • Built in 1885, the tower is also known as Malaysia's version of the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy.

  • It has a unique "pagoda" concept and once served as a water tank structure.

  • It was declared as a national heritage site in 2015 ('Then' photo courtesy of Hilir Perak District Office).

Old Ban Hock Wharf, Kuching, Sarawak

  • Named after a Chinese contractor's firm, the old Ban Hock wharf stood in front of main bazaar along the Sarawak River.

  • Import and export activities started here as early as 1948.

  • It has now been transformed into the Kuching Waterfront, with the new Floating Mosque as one of its landmarks.

The Pavilion, Kuching, Sarawak

  • Built in 1909 during Rajah Charles Brooke's rule, the Pavilion building was originally a medical headquarters and was one of the first public buildings in Sarawak more than two storeys high.

  • It was later used by the Education Department until the 1970s, followed by the Judiciary Department.

  • The building now houses the Textile Museum.

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Merdeka Day 2019 , National Day 2019


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