EXPLORE THE CITY
Brush with the past at the Muzium Negara MRT station
Monday 11 September 2017
Kuala Lumpur
A collaboration between RapidKL, The Malay Mail and RebeccaSaw.com
The photo of the trishaw and rickshaw side by side at the Muzium Negara MRT station. — Pictures by Malay Mail
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 11 — Befitting its close proximity to the national museum, a visit to the Muzium Negara MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) station is almost like a trip to a gallery of age-old treasures.
A selection of columns inside the station, which is part of the Sungai Buloh-Kajang (SBK) Line, features huge black and white photos of yesteryear.
The theme of the vintage pictures is transportation. From the basic bullock cart, trishaw and rickshaw to the locomotive, these images prompt the mind to imagine what it must have been like moving around in the old days.

With the lack of space and the need for manual assistance, the rides then looked like they were uncomfortable and slow-moving.

Nevertheless, the photo of the trishaw and rickshaw side by side is grabbing. You can almost sense the lethargy of the rickshaw puller using all his might to cart his three passengers in his carriage to their destination.

According to the credit note, this nostalgic picture from the National Archives of the Netherlands was shot in “Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur in 1946 by Willem van de Poll.”

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    Most of the other images come courtesy of national news agency Bernama.
    One that brings back old memories is a photo of the Bas Mini — the ubiquitous public transport of the 70s, 80s and 90s within the Klang Valley.
    It was a popular mode of transportation because of its convenience and inexpensive fare (40 sen per trip initially before the fare rose to 50 sen many years later before being fixed at 60 sen per journey).
    Covering approximately 60 routes, the mini bus was the transport of choice among the general public, the working crowd and even school children.
    The country’s unique 1Malaysia facet was evident as passengers of the multi-coloured bus included those from all races and religions — all squeezed into the vehicle (which only had a capacity of 30 people) especially during peak periods like early morning and after working hours.
    The Bas Mini which was introduced in 1975 seized operations in 1998 to make way for bigger buses like the Bas Intrakota and later, RapidKL in 2005.
    Entrance B of the Muzium Negara station.
    Muzium Negara is located just above the underground MRT station.
    If you’re at this MRT stop, why not drop by Muzium Negara just above the underground station? Exit B leads you right to the building.
    Current exhibitions include ”Pameran KL 2017 Bangkit Bersama 29th SEA (South-east Asian) Games and 9th Asean Para Games” and “Pameran Ikon Fesyen Retro Saloma”.
    The former showcases the country’s historical involvement in sports. There’s also a display of items such as medals from previous SEA Games among others. This exhibition ends on Dec 31.
    The latter presentation, which runs until Oct 31, focuses on the fashion worn by Malaysia’s legendary star, Saloma. She often had on a slim-fit top usually with a peplum paired with a tight, long skirt with a slit.
    Her much-favoured figure-hugging outfits which enhanced her curves got the attention of American actor Marlon Brando who nicknamed her the Marilyn Monroe of the East.

    Also interesting is the Malay Kingdoms gallery, a permanent exhibit at the museum. It traces the history of the early Malay empire in the archipelago with reference to the Malay Peninsula and highlights the glory days of old Melaka in the 15th century.Among the impressive objects on display are the grand doorway of the Palace of the Kingdom of Setul (Southern Thailand) and the keris(asymmetrical dagger) of Sultan Sulaiman Badrul Alam Shah ibni Almarhum Sultan Zainal Abidin III, the 13th Sultan of Terengganu.

    Once you’ve toured the museum, you might want to shop or grab a bite and the most convenient place to do so would be in KL Sentral. 

    The station is connected to KL Sentral by a covered 240-metre pedestrian walkway. The walkway also takes you to Nu Sentral mall, Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Le Meridien Hotel and The St Regis Kuala Lumpur among others. 

    And, if you feel like heading elsewhere, KL Sentral is the transfer point for major rail systems including RapidKL LRT Kelana Jaya Line, KTM Komuter, KTM Intercity, KL Monorail, KLIA Express Rail Link and KLIA Transit services. 

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