At midnight on 31 August 1957 became Malysia independent nation. A flag was hoisted on the giant 100 metres (328 ft) flagpole on Merdeka Square – an 8.2 hectare area of great historical interest. Merdeka is Malay for independence, and the flag ceremony signified the independence of the country from British rule. Originally, this area was the focal point of colonial Kuala Lumpur – it was called the Parade Ground, for here the British military parades took place. Today Merdeka Square is still used as the venue for parades and other important national events.
The square is facing the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, one of the old landmarks of Kuala Lumpur. Most of the surrounding buildings date from before, and the turn of the century. In one corner of Merdeka Square (in Malay: Dataran Merdeka) lies the former Selangor Club Padang – an adorable spot with elegant colonnades and colourful beds of flowers. Here we also have an old ornamental fountain that was brought in from Britain in pieces and assembled in 1897.