On 31st August 1957, Malaysia became an independent country. On 31st August 1984, Danial Lim was born. The R@SKLs celebrated both birthdays with a short ride through the city.
More than thirty cyclists, most in R@SKL pink, met at Pegasus Cycles in Plaza Damas 3 for the 7.30am start.
Our route took us through Taman Duta to the Lake Gardens before looping back to Pegasus Cycles.
Our first stop was at the Tugu Negara (National Monument).
The Tugu Negara is a sculpture that commemorates those who died in the country’s struggle for freedom, principally during the Japanese occupation during World War II and during the Malayan Emergency, which was a guerrilla war fought against the Malayan Communist Party between 1948 and 1960.
The monument, designed by Felix de Weldon, is the world’s tallest bronze freestanding sculpture grouping.
Unbeknownst to the ladies, there were photobombers around.
It was a short ride from the Tugu Negara to Nasi Lemak Tanglin, which has been serving nasi lemak since 1948. Nasi lemak is considered by many Malaysians to be the national dish. So it was a most appropriate choice for breakfast on Merdeka (National) Day.
Nasi Lemak Tanglin is a very popular breakfast spot. Our Kapitan, Simon, had the forethought to call the restaurant in advance to book a table and to pre-order thirty-five servings of nasi lemak with fried chicken or chicken curry, and side orders of fried eggs, beef rendang, and squid and cockle sambal.
There were a couple of musicians and a singer entertaining the clientele at Nasi Lemak Tanglin. The trio was nice enough to sing “Happy Birthday” to Danial.
Fed and happy in the sunshine!
One kilometre from our breakfast spot is Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square). The Malaysian flag was raised here for the first time to replace the Union Jack.
Today it is home to a 95-metre flagpole, located at the southern end of the square.
Dataran Merdeka is surrounded by notable buildings. The mock-Tudor buildings in the left and centre below are part of the Royal Selangor Club. A social club founded in 1884 for high-ranking members of British colonial society.
To the right is the more modern north wing, added after a fire razed the main section of the club in 1970.
On the opposite side of the Dataran is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. The building was completed in 1897, and originally housed the offices of the British colonial administration. Today it is the home of both the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia.
Crowds still gather in front of the 41-metre clock tower to ring in Merdeka Day and the New Year.
We completed our city loop by riding back to Pegasus Cycles for drinks and birthday cake with blushing birthday boy Danial.
The guys were a bit more boisterous when it was our turn to smile for the camera.
Happy Birthday Malaysia! Happy Birthday Danial Lim!