Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Glory of Bunga Raya

We call our national flower, the Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Bunga Raya. The word bunga means 'flower' in Malay whilst raya means 'big'. This beloved red beauty was declared our national symbol in 1960 by the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman.

The 5 petals represent the 5 Rukun Negara ( 5 Principles of Nationhood) of Malaysia. They are:
1. Belief in God
2. Loyalty to King and Country
3. Supremacy of the Constitution
4. Rule of Law
5. Mutual Respect and Morality

The flower can be found imprinted on the notes and coins of the Malaysian currency. Nestled in the Lake Garden is the Hibiscus Garden for the public to appreciate the beauty of the different varieties . In the city, the lights are fashioned to look like hibiscus on the top of lamp posts.

Lately, the media was abuzz with news of a massive 3 tier crystal fountain that further elevates the status of the Bunga Raya. I checked it out at the Pavilion, THE shopping mall in Kuala Lumpur.

The fountain has certainly found a 'home' where the world can view. It stands smack in a great location - at the entrance of the Pavilion . Locals and tourists flock to this area of Bukit Bintang which is in the golden triangle of the city.

I thought what an innovative idea to have a beautiful fountain showing off the Bunga Raya motifs. Tourism Minister, Dr Ng Yen Yen launched the 3.6m x 6m fountain amidst much fanfare on 4 July to coincide with the MegaSale.

This beautiful Grand Bloom of Fulfillment fountain was conceptualized by Pavilion KL in collaboration with the ancient glassware expert LiuliGongfang.

Artist Loretta Hui-shan Yang who has worked for many years with flowers as her theme was given the task of creating this fountain with hibiscus as the motif. It was a year and a half's labour of love.

Liuli is a term for ancient Chinese glass. Even under ideal conditions, a fountain created entirely from liuli and silicon carbide is no small feat. Finally, the finished work weighing 4 tons was shipped from Shanghai to its present location.

In the cool comfort of Pavilion,on video, visitors can catch the aspirations of the artist and her team who worked against many odds to make this fountain a reality.

The 3 hemispherical bowls represent Malaysia's multiracial culture. In an ascending structure, it symbolizes vigour, mobitilty and the aspirations of Malaysians. The flow of the water symbolizes blessings and prosperity for the nation.

Light is the key element to the fountain. Under the night sky, the oscillating lights will make the flowers appear to dance. Sounds so magical! Even under the afternoon sun, the fountain is a beauty to behold.

This new landmark is already a crowd puller. It is another new attraction belonging to the people of Malaysia. Looking at the fountain, the Bunga Raya is certainly basking in glory with the lights and water at play.


  1. Bunga raya reminds me of childhood. Growing up, bunga raya was common and we learned it in school as the national flower and what it symbolises. We learned it in science class as the classic flower. I must add though, there was not much I remember until some you reminded in your post. Thank you.

  2. That's beautiful - just the scale of it is impressive!

    I love hibiscus. We're in the middle of redecorating my daughter's room, and thinking of painting a big hibiscus blossom on one wall.

  3. Hi
    Ocean Girl, yeah, didn't we do so many wonderful things with the hibiscus. we even wore one each behind our ears when we were on stage in a singing competition.

    adrienne, would love to have a peek when the room is done.

    The Retired One, absolutely! Have a good day!

  4. The fountain is beautiful!! Awesome pics, Keats!!

  5. Sunshine girl, tqvm for sharing this grand bunga raya crystal fountain with us. It is indeed awesome and breathtaking. I'm so proud of our bunga raya. Tunku was right in choosing bunga raya as our national flower.

  6. This is fascinating! I will drink my daily hibiscus tea completely different now!

  7. This post is so interesting and the photos tell the story even further! The beautiful bunga raya fountain is surely loved by many as is the hibiscus! Thank you for visiting me and for sharing this wonderful tour!

  8. Hi


    It is fascinating to read that the beautiful Banga Raya is your National Flower and each petal represents 5 principles of Nationhood.

    The description of the Banga Rays crystal fountain is very interesting and I can see from the photos it has become a great attraction. A lot of thinking and planning and meticulous execution has gone into the building of this gorgeous fountain. You are very lucky to see this marvelous monument.

    I enjoyed reading your excellent narration and the lovely photos are a real feast for the eyes.

    Have a lovely day:)

  9. HI
    Veronica Lee, glad you liked the pics.

    Autumn Belle, earlier, I was out for dinner and on jalan tun razak, and in the dark I thought I saw a hibiscus on one of the road islands. ? something new.

    Marie Reed, yeah, give it a try .Hope you like it:)

    Coralie Cederna Johnson, glad you like the post. do visit again:)

    Joseph Pulikotil,thanks for visiting. Do visit again. This fountain is our new pride and joy :)

  10. Hi
    That was an amazing and very informative post. Reflects your great belief and pride in your Nation. The Bung Raya or hibiscus is found in great abundance in India especially in the State of Kerala. It is grown here in very many different colors. It was nice to note that it is your country's national flower and the five petals represent different facets of Nationhood. Tunku Abdul Rahman was a great and imaginative leader - a good friend and contemporary of our then Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
    The three tiered fountain colorfully painted with hibiscus patterns is fascinating.
    Malaysia is a magical country!
    Have a great day !

  11. Beautiful crafts and thank you for sharing the pictures.

  12. Bunga raya is a beautiful flower and a lovely national symbol. That sculpture is quite a fascinating work of art.

  13. Hi
    R.Ramakrishnan, thank you for your generous comments. Glad to know there's hibiscus grown in Kerala too. I hear so much about Kerala and should visit one day.Also to visit my husband's relatives.

    Zue Murphy, thank you.

    Janie, thanks for visiting and your nice comments.

  14. Now that was an inspiring post and beautiful pictures to go with it also. tks for the info, here's wishing you a great weekend, hugs/M

  15. ur trip spells a lot..amazing picturesque detailed story makes me wanna plan a trip to Malaysia now!!

  16. Hi
    M.Kate, appreciate your kind comments. Have a good weekend yourself :)

    Rush, welcome aboard! Do visit Malaysia if you can. It is convenient too for you to visit other countries nearby.

    The Sunshine Group is a voluntary support group of Selangor Cheshire Home for the disabled. We are 20 ladies, all homemakers and we have an active social programme with the residents of the Home. Also, an ongoing awareness programme for the disabled with schoolchildren.
    Cheshire International was founded by GC ( Group captain)Lord Cheshire.

  17. Bunga Raya is a very nice flower. Can use to bring down fever also!

  18. Great pics and post as usual, Keats! I love the funny ancient green fountain at Dataran Merdeka. I haven't seen this hibiscus one in the flesh yet. Pak Idrus goes to Pavillion quite often. You guys should meet up for tea! I meet up with other blogger friends at every opportunity.

    Keats, do let me know if you'd like my assistance in organising or preparing any activities for the Sunshine Group.

  19. The fountain is so beautiful. And thanks for the explanation too. Very helpful.

  20. What great Pride the Malaysian people are beholden!

    The fine detail you put forth in this blog theme is extraordinaire with everything captured in interesting informative pitch.

    The plaque transcribing the nation's powerful symbolism is in alignment to the country's highest moral standard and I don't think there's any other country can stand at par with.

    I am also drawn to the doctrinal significance of the five petals of the Hibiscus (we call it Gumamela at home in my own country) that really, really awed me with deep respect for your country.

    The 5 petals represent the 5 Rukun Negara ( 5 Principles of Nationhood) of Malaysia. They are:

    1. Belief in God
    2. Loyalty to King and Country
    3. Supremacy of the Constitution
    4. Rule of Law
    5. Mutual Respect and Morality

    That strongly speaks of your country's Incorruptible Leadership bringing Stability to your nation as a whole.

    Kudos to the Artist Loretta Hui-shan Yang for her relenting passion in designing the inimitable icon of Malaysia: The Glory of Bunga Raya.

    May prosperity continues to flow into your beloved country.

    Thanks for the visit to my blog. It is much appreciated.

  21. HI
    Pete, thanks for your info :)

    ~Covert_Operations'78~, yes, I agree the old fountain has a charm of its own. Somehow, it reminds me of a greenman when I see the images !! Guess this spanking new fountain ties in with the Pavilion look!

    Thanks for the offer with the Sunshine Group. Will certainly tie up to explore what we can do together.
    I have not met any blogger, so you 'd probably be the first!!

    Jenny Mac, thanks for visiting. Have a good day!

    Bonnie Bonsai, i truly appreciate your generous comments. Am glad you like the post.
    May our countries be blessed and the people be happy.

  22. This is an interesting post. I didn't even know the hibiscus is M'sia's national flower, lol.

  23. So lovely and fantastic post :)
    Great pictures !!
    I love the smile's ..
    The fountains are Beautiful ^__^
    Have a nice weekend :)

  24. Hi
    Irene Toh, thanks for your comments and welcome to my blog!

    Anya, Yeah.The fountain is certainly a favourite for cameras to click away!

  25. Hey this is so beautiful !! Truly fantastic shots ! Thanks for sharing...Unseen Rajasthan


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