The Kuala Lumpur National Monument (Tugu Negara) commemorates the 11,000 people who lost their lives fighting for Malaysian independence. The 51-foot (15.5-meter) bronze statue of seven soldiers, built to replace a colonial-era cenotaph that now stands behind it, is part of a site that also includes a central pavilion with regimental emblems.
There is no entrance fee to visit the National Monument. It’s difficult to reach by public transport but quick to experience once you arrive, so the site is a popular stop on Kuala Lumpur day tours. Many tours visit simply as a photo stop, so military buffs who want to really take in the cenotaph—which has a list of fallen heroes from two world wars and more— should visit independently. Alternatively, work with a guide or driver on a private Kuala Lumpur National Monument tour.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The National Monument (Tugu Negara) is a must-do for history and military buffs and anyone with a connection to Malaysia.
- If you’d only like to see the sculpture, join a tour that visits the National Monument for a photo stop, or ride a hop-on hop-off bus.
- The Kuala Lumpur National Monument is conveniently located near both the Perdana Botanical Garden (Lake Gardens) and the ASEAN Sculpture Garden.
How to Get There
The National Monument is an easy, scenic walk from the Perdana Botanical Garden (Lake Gardens) but fiddly to access from elsewhere. A taxi from Kuala Lumpur city center should take no more than 15 minutes. Alternatively, catch a KTM Komuter train from KL Sentral, get off at Bank Negara station and walk more than a mile (2 kilometers). Many will find it quicker and easier to join a tour or ride a hop-on hop-off bus.
When to Get There
The Kuala Lumpur National Monument is open seven days a week throughout the year, from 7am to 6pm. To beat the crowds, arrive early in the day. The site is often used for ceremonies on Remembrance Day (the Sunday closest to November 11), Warriors’ Day (July 31), and Malaysia Day (September 16).
From Kuala Lumpur to Iwo Jima
The most striking element of the Kuala Lumpur National Monument is the towering bronze sculpture of ascendant soldiers. If the style looks familiar, that’s because it shares a sculptor: Felix de Weldon, the man responsible for the famous depiction of U.S. Marines raising the flag over Iwo Jima during World War II. Like it, the bodies in the group are portrayed in energetic harmony.