KUALA LUMPUR – September 11, 2017: Whenever one talks about Malaya’s independence day on August 31, usually what comes with it is the image of Tunku Abdul Rahman and the raising of our first Jalur Gemilang.
But history runs deeper than that, with struggles and sacrifices from different parties that contributed to Malaya’s independence — or more often referred to as Merdeka.
The ongoing Jalan Merdeka Exhibition at Carcosa Seri Negara, organised by the Asian Heritage Museum (AHM), in partnership with the New Straits Times, is meant for the public to appreciate the memorable occasion.
The month-long exhibition which opened on August 31 features special items related to Malaysia’s journey to independence.
Among others is the very first Malayan flag on display and one of the bicycles used by soldiers of the Japanese Imperial Army when invading Malaya during the second World War.
These are displayed alongside pieces of rare information, such as how the Communist Party of Malaya was formed and despite its infamous atrocities, also played a big part in our Merdeka.
Azmi Anshar, the media advisor of AHM, said some of the stories and information on display are unique and have never been shown to the public elsewhere.
“What many Malaysian might not know is that, political awareness in Malaysia was born long before the second World War. In 1906, the first political party, Al-Imam, was introduced in Malaya by a group called Kaum Muda. Then there was the Communist Party of Malaya which opened for membership in 1930.
“They are the ones that inspired the development of politics in the country that ultimately led to our independence,” said Azmi.
The exhibition includes other aspects of Malaysia’s nation building such as the struggles of the labour communities.