Wednesday, November 16, 2011

It's curtains for Istana Negara

Posted by Hashim Abd Ghani On 10:57 AM
New Palace

KUALA LUMPUR: After a colourful 83-year history and the coronation of seven of the 13 Yang di-Pertuan Agong in its premises, the curtain comes down  on Istana Negara on 15 November 2011.The majestic white edifice with gold-coloured domes, a familiar sight to those passing Jalan Syed Putra, is officially decommissioned when the head of state's flag is lowered in a ceremony steeped in tradition today. The outgoing Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin will go down in history as the last head of state to occupy the palace here. This was where prime ministers, cabinet ministers, and chief justices took their oath of office.

And concurrently, the grand new Istana Negara in Jalan Duta is the official palace for Malaysia's future king. The new RM 800 million Istana Negara complex built near Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur replace the existing Istana Negara. The construction was commenced on mid-2007, the palace was completed on June 30, at a total cost of RM797 million.

Old Palace

The old palace was originally a double-storey mansion built in 1928 by a local Chinese millionaire, Chan Wing. During the Japanese occupation from 1942–1945, it was used as the residence of the Japanese Governor. After the surrender of the Japanese on 15 August 1945, the British Military Administration (BMA) commandeered it for a senior military officers mess from the rank of brigadier. With the formation of the Federation of Malaya in 1950, the Selangor State Government rented the residence from the owners for Straits Dollars 5,000 a month until Merdeka or Indepencence in 1957. It was renovated to become the palace of His Majesty the Sultan of Selangor. In 1957, the owners sold the property of 13 acres to the Federal Government at an agreed valuation of Straits Dollars 1.4 Million.

Main Enterance

The Federal Government then converted the residence into the Istana Negara for the newly created sovereign post of Yang di-Pertuan Agong of Malaya which was about to achieve independence that August as scheduled. Since then it has undergone several renovations and extensions. But the most extensive upgrading was carried out in 1980, as it was the first time that the Installation Ceremony of His Majesty DYMM Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong was held at the Istana Negara. Prior to this the Installation Ceremonies were held at the Tunku Abdul Rahman Hall in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur with the first one held in 1957.


Pictures of the new palace :

The old palace building is to become a museum.

References :

New Strait Times 16 Nov 11



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