It was in 1997. I was in standard  4 of primary school. The date was 31st of August. It was the first time, as far as my memory can recall, that I had seen this historical building close enough with my bare eyes. Together with my sister, we went with our auntie and her husband to celebrate the nation’s National Day, as it was called then.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building, today

Being a kid who love history and culture (yes, I know it is strange for a kid to LOVE history but I can’t help it. lol), I was mesmerized when I saw the building. I asked a lot of questions to my auntie about the history of this building. I have read in the textbook for kajian tempatan subject that when the clock at this building turned 12 on the night of 31st August 1957, the Union Jack was lowered down at the square in front of this building.

The stairs, with clear Mughal architecture.

This building, named as the Sultan Abdul Samad building, in honour of the 4th Sultan of the state of Selangor, Almarhum Sultan Sir Abdul Samad, who was also the reigning sultan when the construction finished, is indeed a beautiful building and a sight to behold if one visits the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. As a city widely known for the skyscrapers and especially the twin towers, going to this part of the city will give visitors a different perspective of Kuala Lumpur.

Going here is like going back to the past, where the pace is slower and the people is nicer.

That is why I listed this building as one of the things to do when one is in KL [read the post here]. This building has a lot of history. Do you know that the clock tower chimed for the first time to coincide with Queen Victoria’s Jubilee Parade in 1897? And it took only 3 years for this building to be completed, 1894 to 1897. That was impressive. Plus, the clock tower was the venue during the standardization of Malaysian time in 1982 where the time for the Peninsular, Singapore, Sabah and Sarawak was standardized.

Final use was as the office for the Ministry of Information. Since the ministry is now changed to the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia headquartered in Putrajaya, I am not sure what is the function of this building now.

Seeing this building today, I smiled. Because deep in my heart, I know that if this building could talk, it will tell 1001 stories of Malaysia seen through its facade and walls. It will tell what has it seen in terms of physical development of Malaysia and the development of Malaysia’s society. How people come and go and used this building as offices, Court houses, abandoned it, re-used it, beautified it…

A national heritage that must be preserved – forever.

And of course, visiting this building, I will smile, as my mind travels back to 31st August 1997, when Malaysia celebrated the 40th National Day, with the motto Akhlak Mulia Masyarakat Jaya – Good Values Make A Successful Society.


To go to Sultan Abdul Samad Building, take the LRT [either Kelana Jaya Line or Seri Petaling Line] and disembark at Masjid Jamek station. Exit the station and walk towards the City Hall/Merdeka Square area. The building will be on the left near Jalan Raja.


We are Khai and Amira, Malaysian travel bloggers behind Kaki Jalans. Our travels have taken us to almost all the countries in Asean and several countries in Europe. We are still actively travelling and adding to this list.


    • tak kak. pergi selebret countdown dengan makcik pakcik. hehehe. dulu pergi KL tu rasa mcm best sangat bagi orang Shah Alam macam saya ni. heeee

  1. Pingback: Visit Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur – Past and Present (Part 2) | The Best Things in Life

  2. Pingback: Visit Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur - Past and Present (Part 2) - Kaki Jalans

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