National Museum

National Museum

Located at the fringe of Taman Tasik Perdana (The Lake Gardens) This palatial building was designed along the lines of classical Malay Architecture and is the principal museum in the country. Its imposing entrance opens into an impressive collection of exhibits on local history, culture and custom, arts and handicraft, weapons and currencies. There are also exhibits on economic activities like rubber planting, tin-mining and some samples of Malaysia's flora and fauna. Outdoor static displays include old locomotives, vintage cars and replicas of ancient Malay Palaces.

The National Museum was opened in 1963. It stands on the same site as the former Selangor Museum, which was partially destroyed by Allied bombing, that targeted the nearby railway marshalling yards during the Second World War. The establishment of the museum and the form it has taken is mostly attributed to the the late Tan Sri Mubin Sheppard (Mervyn Sheppard), who was the last British Resident of Negeri Sembilan and the first Keeper of Public Records, and to the enthusiasm and encouragement of the then Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

The Minangkabau-inspired architecture was the brainchild of Ho Kok Hoe. The planning of the building was carried out in collusion with the Natural History Museum of New York and London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. The two giant Italian glass mosaic murals created by Kuala Lumpur artist Cheong Lai Tong that adorn the left and right façade of the museum depict the main historical episodes and cultural activities of east and west Malaysia respectively.

Inside the museum, the blue mosaic floor tiles of the Central Hall were designed and manufactured in Pakistan. The main doors and the roof beam of the Main Hall were designed by Nik Zainal bin Nik Salleh of Kelantan, while the woodcarvings were by Wan Su bin Othman of Terengganu

The museum has a permanent exhibition of items covering all aspects of Malaysian history and culture. The display of photographs, dioramas, artefacts and models (with English language and Malay text) are excellent introductions to the country’s history, geography, natural history and culture. A reconstruction of a Peranakan (Straits Chinese) house from Melaka and the collection of various sultans represent the some of the cultural colours of Malaysia’s multi-ethnic population.

Regular exhibitions are held at the Main Hall and the annexe building at the rear. The museum is also a centre for archaeological research. The museum opens daily from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. except Fridays from 12.00 p.m. to 2.30 p.m. Entrance: RM1.