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.