On the last weekend, while bringing the boys to Lake Garden, we passed by the Muzium Negara and I told Ping Ping what a museum is. He grew interested with it so I promised him that I will bring him there one day. Few days later, it was Wesak day Public Holiday, so I’ve decided to bring the 2 boys to visit the museum for the first time.
It was a good chance for me to revisit Muzium Negara as my last visit to this museum was more than 20 years ago during my high school time.
We reached Muzium Negara at around 9.30am, parked the car (parking rate) and walked towards the entrance. It wouldn’t be a trip to Muzium Negara if we didn’t see the iconic historical vehicles (fire engine, train, mini bus) near the entrance isn’t it? These vehicles have been here at Muzium Negara for ages.
Temporary Exhibition Hall – The Peking Man: Zhoukoudian Heritage Site exhibition
On our way to the main entrance, we walked pass the temporary exhibition hall. The hall was hosting The Peking Man: Zhoukoudian Heritage Site exhibition. We decided to have a look and it was a good decision.
Source from The Star:
The Peking Man remains (at least 40 hominids) proved that this early human ancestor was able to make and handle tools, hunt large mammals and even had funeral rites. They also set up fireplaces and cooked food, the earliest evidence for fire use by a human species yet.
The ongoing excavations and scientific work at the Zhoukoudian Site – also a Unesco World Heritage Site – are thus of significant value in the history of world archaeology, and have played an important role in the world history of science.
Not too far from the excavation site (also known as Dragon Bone Hill) is the Zhoukoudian Site Museum, a natural history museum in China, which houses these findings.
It was a good exhibition to show the boys how human has evolved through time.
Muzium Negara Main Building
There are 4 galleries in the Muzium Negara main building:
- Gallery A – Early History
- Gallery B – The Malay Kingdom
- Gallery C – The Colonial Era
- Gallery D – Malaysia Today
Gallery A – Early History
This gallery showcases the evolution of the earth’s surface till the origins of Malaysia’s earliest inhabitant. It outlines the discovery of the stone tools of the Paleolithic Age (200,000 years ago_ to the Hindu-Buddhist candi relics in Lembah Bujang. One of the priceless artefact encased is the Dong Son bronze bell dated 150 AD. Among the highlights of this gallery is the skeleton of the Perak Man, excavated in Gunung Runtuh Cave, Lenggong, Perak dated to about 10,000-11,000 years old. It is the oldest, almost complete skeleton found the South East Asia.
This is the gallery where the boys got to see how ancient human live through different stages – Stone Age, Bronze Age, Iron Age etc. I’ve explained to the boys (to the best of my knowledge) how human survived using stones as tools in daily life, how human discovered fire, how human protected themselves by staying in the caves etc.
The boys got to see the bone fossils being discovered and exhibited in the museum. They also learned the different burial methods used in the past.
Gallery B – The Malay Kingdom
The gallery traces of the history of the early Malay Kingdoms in the Archipelago, with special reference to the Malay Peninsula and highlights the glory of the Malay Kingdom of Melaka in the 15th century. The outstanding and equally impressive objects exhibited here include the grand doorway of the Palace of the Kingdom of Setul (Southern Thailand), the statue of Avalokitesvara and the mural of the legendary hero Hang Tuah. A keris, a former heirloom of the Sultan Sulaiman Syah, the 13th Sultan Terengganu is among the artefacts of the Malay royalty displayed in this gallery.
The boys were fascinated with the the artefact models being displayed in this gallery. I was a failure here because I’ve forgotten most of the things I’ve studied in school. Shame on me.
Gallery C – The Colonial Era
The exhibition here charts the history of the control and administration of the foreign powers; The Portuguese, Dutch, British and Japanese and its subsequent effects on the political, social and economic situation of the nation. A very significant artefact in this gallery is the Pangkor Table where history was literally written on at the Treaty of Pangkor in 1974. The displays include the artillery, a model of an obsolete tin dredge, and a jinrickshaw – a popular mode of transportation of yesteryear and Japanese’s armaments of World War 2.
Fortunately I was able to explain to the boys a little regarding the colonisation of Malaya. Ping Ping can particularly remember about the Japanese occupation of our country and how the Japanese had surrendered about 2 atomic bombs were dropped in Japan by the USA.
Gallery D – Malaysia Today
This gallery guides the visitor through the arduous path trodden by the people in their unwavering struggle for independence and the formation of a new nation. It illustrates the transformation process and achievements gained since the independence of Malaya in 1957 through to the formation of Malaysia in 1963 and up to the present day. Now Malaysians of all colours and creeds are free to practice and profess their customs, cultures and religious beliefs and live in peace and hormony. Among the important documents on displays i the original copy of the letter of appointment of His Majesty, the XIV Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the head of state of Malaysia.
This was a good place to remind the boys (especially Ping Ping) of the importance of the independence of Malaya/Malaysia – where the people irregardless of race, fought hard together to achieve independence of the country.
Quote from Ping Ping when I explained to him that Tunku Abdul Rahman was the father of Malaysia:
But Malaysia is bigger than him!!
While watching the short documentary about the independence of Malaya/Malaysia, Yu Yu kept shouting “Merdeka” together with Tunku Abdul Rahman. After the show I’ve promised the boys that I would bring them to the Merdeka Parade again this year.
Exterior of the Main Building
Of course, to end the trip to the Muzium Negara, one must definitely take photo with the iconic mural at the outer wall of the main building. So here it is
Despite being skeptical in the beginning of bringing a 3 year old and a 6 year old boy to a museum, we managed to spend about 1.5 hours at Muzium Negara. It only costed us RM2 for the trip which was worth the money and time. The boys had fun strolling (and running) around in the museum and were amazed by the display in the museum.
I would say that it was very cosy inside the museum – the air conditioning was working 😀
I am glad that I brought the boys here and I believe I will bring them here again.
About Muzium Negara / National Museum Kuala Lumpur
The idea of establishing the National Museum was initiated by the First Prime Minster of Malaysia Yang Teramat Mulia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj. The present building was built on the site of the former Selangor Museum (1906 – 1945). During the World War 2, a part of the building was accidentally bombed by the Allied Forces on 10th March 1945.
The construction of the museum began in 1959 and was completed in August 1963. It was officially declared opened by his Majesty, the Third Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Syed Putra Al-Haj ibni Almarhum Syed Hassan Jamalullail.
The architecture of the museum is a combination of the design of the traditional Malay house and Malay motifs. The facade is adorned by two huge murals made of the finest Italian glass mosaic, which highlights the history and craft of Malaysia respectively.
- Open daily from 9.00am to 6.00pm. The museum is closed on the first day of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Aidil Adha.
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