RHODESIAN AFRICAN RIFLES
National Monument Kuala Lumpur (Tugu Negara) Malaysia
This morning, I visited the National Monument in Kuala Lumpur with instructions from Pat Lawless:
• “…and the RAR badge still stands (and always has stood) alongside other units at the National Monument in Kuala Lumpur.”
• For those who have never been, the Monumen Negara is a horse-shoe shape colonnade building, open on all sides. The unit badges for all regiments, squadrons, naval detachments [and other units] are set into the roof and upper walls. So you actually have to raise your eyes to see and in doing so honour the soldiers who fought and died for Malaysia. I visited many times and was always moved by the dignity of the place. Malaysia remembers well the warriors who brought the nation into being.”
The National Monument is a 48,562 square metre space with 5 major components. The components are the monument, the pavilion, the surrounding gardens, the fountains and the war memorial. The National Monument was designed by an American architect named Felix de Weldon who also designed the famous Iwo Jima Memorial. Every year on 31st of July, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, the Prime Minister as well as the heads of military and police pay their respects to the heroes who have fought so hard to free our country from the clenches of foreign occupation
Through the front gate the first memorial you see is the Cenotaph: Originally intended to commemorate the Great War (1914–1918) and honour those from the British Malayan colonies who were killed in the war, the cenotaph’s inscription would later include fallen British Malayan soldiers of World War II (1939–1945) after the conclusion of World War II and resumption of British rule. Names of the fallen are engraved on the plaques of the cenotaph as a token of tribute to their sacrifices.
The Centotaph was moved in 1964 from its original site in the city, to the National Monument.
Beyond the Cenotaph, steps rise to the “…a horse-shoe shape colonnade building, open on all sides…”.
It is on the ceiling of this building that the crests and cap badges are placed.
The RAR badge has pride of place, virtually in the centre of the building and the first badge in the outer ring from the central gated area, where the Malaysian badges and crests are found:
Location of Rhodesian African Rifles Badge
Beyond the colonade building is the striking statue of Malaysian soldiers with their wounded and dead comrades, with the developing office blocks of KL Sentral at Brickfields in the background