The memorial site where the National Monument stands is located within the tranquil Lake Gardens, close by to the Parliament House in Kuala Lumpur, occupying an area of approximately 48,562 square metres.
The National Monument memorial site was completed after 5 years of construction and was officially opened on February 8, 1966. There are 5 principle components that comprise the memorial site: the monument itself, a long rectangular reflecting pool with fountain, a crescent-shaped pavilion, the cenotaph, and the ancillary gardens. The National Monument is situated at the centre of the reflecting pool.
The monument was designed by the famous American sculptor Felix de Weldon, who also designed the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington. The idea of erecting the bronze monument came to the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj, Malaysia's first prime minister, in 1960 when he visited the USMC War Memorial statue in his visit to America in October 1960 and personally met the renowned sculptor for favour to design the monument. The National Monument was built at a cost of RM600, 000.
The National Monument was erected to recognize and honour of those who gave up their lives in the cause for peace and freedom during the 1st and 2nd World Wars, and particularly during the nation’s struggle against the threat of Communism (the period of Malayan Emergency) from the years 1948 to 1960. The monument stands at 15.54m high, and is made up of a diorama of seven bronze human figures, atop an oblong base. Each figure at the National Monument denotes one of the seven qualities: courage, leadership, sacrifice, strength, suffering, unity and vigilance.
The topmost figure, at the centre of the National Monument, holds aloft the Malaysian flag. He is flanked on the left and right by 2 other soldiers, both armed – the figure on the left is armed with a machinegun, while the other carries a rifle and a bayonet. Kneeling slightly on...