Dataran Merdeka

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Dataran Merdeka, (Merdeka Square), located between Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin and Jalan Raja and situated in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building which is the Old City Hall and a British colonial club. It is a similar stretch of green can be found in most towns influenced by British rule, a notable example being in Singapore.

It was here that the strangest of all British games, cricket, was played, and the crack of bat against ball can still be heard today. The field was the center for the British community, and games could be watched from the verandahs of the British Selangor Club on one side of the green. Other games such as hockey and rugby were also played here, although nowadays these are more likely to take place in Kuala Lumpur’s modern stadiums. The field saw the British’s flag, The Jack Union, lowered for the last time on 31 August 1957 and the new Malaysian flag replacing it. The field is still used as a venue for a national event, and parades on the National Day start here. After the nightfall, a different kind of parade takes place here, as local transsexual and transvestites take over the green. In 1989, the field was dug to make way for an underground car park to help alleviate Kuala Lumpur’s parking problems.

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