Malaysian National Symbols

Malaysian National Symbols

1. Malaysian Tiger

The Malaysian tiger is a separate subspecies from other tigers in Asia and represents courage and strength. That’s why Malaysia’s national animal is also referred to as Panthera Tigris Malaysia. It is featured prominently in many national insignias including the coat of arms that has 2 Malaysian tigers supporting and guarding the shield.

The Malaysian tiger can also be found in the emblems of the Football Association of Malaysia, Proton, Maybank, and Royal Malaysia Police. Known locally as harimau, it is also referred to by the nickname Pak Belang, especially in folklore. As well as the tiger there are also many other beautiful animals in Maylsian like orangutans, to see an orangutan I would highly recommend taking a look at Borneo holidays.

2. Hibiscus

Hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia and it is hard to imagine any other flower in that position. However, back in 1960, the hibiscus was not even one of the finalists for that honour. It is said that there were 7 flowers proposed, one of which was the hibiscus. In the end, it all came down to choosing between the jasmine and rose, each preferred by people living on the West Coast and East Coast, respectively.

The country’s first Prime Minister, however, Tunku Abdul Rahman, chose the hibiscus based on the fact that it is commonly seen across the country as well as its diversity in colour and shape. The red hibiscus is officially the national flower, which is the colour that symbolises economic and political stability. The diversity in colour, shape, and size signifies the country’s multicultural society while the five petals represent the five principles in the Rukun Negara.

3. Rhinoceros Hornbill

The rhinoceros hornbill is not only one of the largest hornbills in Malaysia but also the country’s national bird. It has a large bill and casque of red and orange, white feet and tail, as well as predominantly black plumage. It has a height of 80 to 90 cm and a wingspan of 150cm and is one of the 10 species of hornbills in Malaysia

The Dayaks, believe that the rhinoceros hornbill is the supreme worldly bird, which serves as the intermediary between our world and the Singalong Burong.. It is also the state bird of Sarawak and it is even featured on the reverse side of the RM5 bill.

4. Nasi Lemak

It might not be official, but if you were to ask any Malaysian, they will likely name the nasi lemak as the country’s national food. The all-around favourite dish is steamed coconut rice that’s served with spicy sambal with fried anchovies, groundnuts, sliced cucumbers, and a full-boiled egg complementing it.

Enjoyed at virtually any time of day, this traditional dish has been the source of inspiration for numerous variations, which include Indian and Malaysian Chinese versions along with vegetarian nasi lemak. Other fascinating dishes inspired by nasi lemak include burgers as well as ice cream.

5. Jalur Gemilang

The world was introduced officially to the Jalur Gemilang on 31st August 1957, when the Malayan flag was raised and the Union Jack lowered, which signalled the country’s independence. Mohamed Hamzah, a 29-year-old architect from Johor designed it after entering the Malayan flag competition and won via a public vote.

The 14 points of the star and the 14 horizontal stripes represent the number of federal territories and state in the country. The stripes also denote the equal status enjoyed by the states while the white and red colours signify purity and courage. The dark blue canton represents the unity of the Malaysian people, the crescent symbolises Islam, which is the country’s official religion, and the colour yellow signifies the rulers of the country.

It was only named Jalur Gemilang in 1997 on the 40th anniversary of Malaysia’s Independence.

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