National Symbols of Malaysia
1. Malayan tiger
The Malayan Tiger, or Panthera Tigris Malaysia, is a distinct subspecies of Asian tigers endemic to the Malaysian Peninsula. This magnificent beast has long been a symbol of strength and courage and has been adopted as the national animal of Malaysia. The powerful form of the Malaysian tiger can be seen on the Malaysian coat of arms — two Malaysian tigers support the escutcheon or shield.
The Malayan tiger can also be seen on emblems of the Maybank, Proton, the Royal Malaysian Police, the Football Association, and many other national organizations. The Malayan Tiger goes by many names, it is called Harimau but is often called Pak Belang (Uncle Stripes), especially in the local folklore.
It is hard to think of the beautiful land of Malaysia and not associate it with the hibiscus flower. But did you know that when the finalists for the national flower were selected, the hibiscus didn’t even make the cut?
As the story goes, among the seven floral finalists it was the rose and jasmine that faced off for first place. However, the Malaysian prime minister at the time, Tunku Abdul Rahman, chose Bunga Raya, or the hibiscus flower, by merit of its diversity of shape and dramatic colour. Furthermore, after a short drive through the country, it is pretty obvious which of these flowers grow ubiquitously and in such flamboyant form.
The Hibiscus is the national flower and is a symbol of abundance as well as political stability. The five petals of the hibiscus flowers represent the five principles of Rukun Negara. The diversity of its shape and colour signifies the multicultural nature of Malaysia.
3. Rhinoceros hornbill
With its bill and casque of flamboyant orange and red, the Malaysian national bird is something impressive to behold. It is mostly black with some white plumage and stands at a height of 80 to 90 cm. It also has a considerable wingspan of 150 cm. The Rhinoceros Hornbill is one of the 10 species of hornbill native to the Malaysian peninsula. Natives of Borneo, I would highly recommend that you take a look at the Turtle Island tour,
4. Nasi lemak
While it has no official title if you were to ask any Malaysian what the national food is, you would most likely hear “nasi lemak” as a response. This is steamed coconut rice made with spicy sambal and complemented with fried anchovies, a full-boiled egg, nuts, and sliced cucumbers. This tasty meal can be eaten at any time of day and has inspired a wide variety of regional versions and even international variations. There are even nasi lemak burgers and nasi lemak ice cream.
5. Jalur Gemilang
The Jalur Gemilang was introduced on 31 Aug 1957. On this day the Union Jack was lowered and the Malayan flag was hoisted over the nation. This flag was designed by a 29-year-old architect named Mohamad Hamzah, who entered the competition to design a flag and won by a unanimous public vote
The flag has 14 horizontal stripes and 14 points on its star representing the states and territories in the country. The stripes also signify equality, while the red and white colours signify courage and purity. The dark blue in the flag represents the unity of the people while the crescent symbolizes Islam, the national religion.
The flag was called Jalur Gemilang 40 years after it was introduced to the world. This happened in 1997, the 40th anniversary of the Malaysian Independence.