Welcome to my Kuala Lumpur

This is my way of sharing my discoveries, re-discoveries, memories & experiences

as well as other bits & pieces of information I have of

growing up in Kuala Lumpur.

Your comments & suggestions to make this blog your reference to all things KL would be very much appreciated.

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Monday, February 2, 2009

"Selangor Padang"

If you look across the field from St Mary's Cathedral, you can't but help but notice the 'Jalur Gemilang' (Stripes of Valor) flying majestically from the tallest flag pole in the country.

We used to refer to this field as the Selangor Padang. In those days, it was normal to find guys in white uniforms playing cricket on the field.

The name is not surprising as the field is sandwiched between the Selangor Club on one side (above) and the Selangor State Secretariat Building on the other (below).

A bit of additional information - The Hash House Harriers was founded here at the Selangor Club. Wikipedia has this to say about the history of the HHH:

Hashing began in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1938, when a casual group of Biritish colonial officers and expatriates began meeting on Monday evenings to run, in a fashion patterned after the traditional British Paper Chase (game), to rid themselves of the excesses of the previous weekend. This original group consisted of four members: Cecil Lee, Frederick "Horse" Thomson, Ronald "Torch" Bennett, and Albert Stephen (A.S.) Ignacious "G" Gispert. John Woodrow was also an original member of the group, but is rarely credited as a founder, having left Malaysia soon after the war and returning to Scotland.

After meeting for some months, they were informed by the Registrar of Societies that as a "group," they would require a Constitution and an official name. A S Gispert suggested the name "Hash House Harriers" in homage to the Selangor Club Annex, where the men were billeted, so named the "Hash House" for its notoriously monotonous food. The final word, "Harriers," refers to the role of those in the chase, where the "hare" was given a head start to blaze a trail and mark his path with shreds of paper, and then pursued by a shouting pack of "harriers." Apart from the excitement of chasing the hare and finding the "true" path, harriers reaching the end of the trail would be rewarded with beer, ginger beer, and cigarettes.

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building, designed by A C Norman and built in 1894-1897.

This building was the home of the British Administration. Later the Selangor State Secretariat was here. Under the Mahathir administration, these buildings housed Malaysia's highest courts (Supreme Court, Federal Court and the Court of Appeal) befor they moved to their new premises in Putrajaya. Recently, the buildings have been renovated to house the Ministry of Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage (if I'm not mistaken about the ministry's official title).

The shady areas around the padang is popular with both locals and visitors alike as a welcome respite from the blazing hot afternoon sun.

Tourists come by the bus loads to the site where the Union Jack was lowered all that many years ago on August 31, 1957.

You can guess that it's a weekend by the lack of traffic on the road.

The plack to inform visitors to Dataran Merdeka at the far corner of the padang.

The old fountain built in 1897 also at the far corner of the padang.

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