Sunday 17 November 2013

Malaysia: Selangor State Memorial Monument - The Forgotten Monument

I jumped into the taxi which I had booked by phone earlier. “Abang nak pergi tugu negeri, kan?” (“You want to go to the state monument, right?”) the driver asked me. I replied in the affirmative. “Tugu tu dekat mana, bang? Saya dah kerja bawa teksi kat Shah Alam ni bertahun-tahun tapi tak pernah tahu pun Shah Alam ada tugu.” (“Where’s the monument actually located? I have been driving taxi here in Shah Alam for years but have never known of any monument here.”)

I was taken aback by his question and admission. He is a taxi driver after all and this side of Shah Alam city is not exactly that big an area.

Saya pun tak tahu sebetulnya. Dulu pernah pergi sekali tapi tak pasti jalan nak ke sana. Yang saya tahu, dia dekat dengan Bangunan SUK” (“I’m not sure either. Went there once a long time ago but I’m not sure how to get there. It should be near to the State Secretariat Building though.”)

We however found it eventually. It turns out that Tugu Peringatan Selangor - Selangor State Memorial Monument - is on a hill not far from the main entrance to the State Secretariat Building.

I paid the driver, got off the taxi and made my way towards the Monument.

Memories came flooding back. The last time I was here, I had just started school. My family – my parents, great grandmother, my elder sister and younger brother – was on a road trip from our hometown in the East Coast state of Terengganu. We were sending off my sister to a boarding school in Seremban and a few days afterwards, the family, minus my sister, and plus an aunt, an uncle and 3 cousins, came here.

The Monument was still new at the time although I had no way of knowing it then. I just thought it was a beautiful monument, with fountains lining the walkaway leading up to the Monument. My uncle, Ayah Ngah, was busy taking photos while my younger brother and I, together with our cousins, were more interested in jumping and running around, playing with water from the fountains and watching the airplanes flying above to the nearby Subang Airport. In between, we would stop to pose for photos.

Other than us, there were quite a few visitors at the time.

The place today however was void of people. There were cars parked nearby but all appeared to be visiting the State Secretariat Building. No one is dropping by to see the monument up close. 

No children running around. No water coming out from the fountains.

I looked around the area for any signboard for information about the Monument. There’s none apart from two commemorative plaques to mark the laying of the foundation stone and the date the Monument was officially opened by the late Sultan, the father of the current Sultan.

I walked the few steps up to the Monument and saw another plaque right underneath the towering structure. On the plaque is written:

“To commemorate the soldiers, warriors and those who have died to uphold 
the sovereignty, freedom, liberty and prosperity of 
the state of Selangor Darul Ehsan”

I spent a moment in silence.


And thinking…

I remember from my first trip here years ago that this was a new and beautiful monument built to remember those who have lost their lives defending Selangor... 

Today however it looks old. The commemorative plaques appear to be run down a bit. The fountains, without the water, somehow gave that lifeless feeling.

Without a single soul around, the place looks deserted and lonely. Somewhat desolate even.

And forgotten.


This is the 3rd out of 5 entries for #TSBreakAway ]

This is also an entry for #TSBreakAway's CANON Photo-Storytelling Challenge.

Thank you Tourism Selangor for the opportunity to join #TSBreakAway programme; and to all sponsors (incl. Empire Hotel, Subang Jaya, Travelmate Magazine, Travelution Magazine, Majalah Fotografika, Damansara Performing Arts Centre and Canon) for making #TSBreakAway 2013 an awesome programme!

For other www.rambleandwander.com blog entries on #TSBreakAway, click here.

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Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. A real good flashback. Used to play around here in the evening during my schooling days.

    1. Thanks, Azuan :-) I remember it as being "larger" but maybe it's because I was still small then, heheh!

  2. bagus la.. tempat2 macam nie kene share.. bagi generasi baru tahu akan kewujudan nyer .. :D

    1. Betul. Tak ramai orang, walaupun tinggal di Shah Alam, yang tahu tentang tugu ni...

  3. Why lah fotonya semua black and white? Macam nak beruban rambut saya melihatnya. Hadeeeuh... Oh, tapi saya suka sama cerita flashback-nya. Selalu ada tempat yang membuat kita mengingat masa lalu. :D

    1. Sebab flashbacknya kayak pulang ke zaman foto hitam putih, haha! ;-)

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