June 19, 2024

New Malaysia Times

Blog News Impose Expose

Rumah Merdeka bears witness to country struggles for independence


ALOR SETAR, Aug 18 — Before the country achieved independence from British rule in 1957, various negotiations were held at the home of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Rumah Merdeka, in Jalan Putra, here.

As a royal prince from Kedah, Tunku Abdul Rahman often returned to the state and stayed at Rumah Merdeka, which became his sanctuary to find inspiration for his writing, as well as a place to collect thoughts and ideas to continue the struggles for the country’s independence.


National Archives Perlis/ Kedah branch director Abdul Jabar Mohamad Ridi said the house was originally belonged to Tunku’s mother, Che Manjalara, before she bequeathed it to him, and often used by country leaders to meet up and plan various political strategies.

Discussions on the government’s policy to win the first federal election in July 1955 were also held at Rumah Merdeka.

“The National Archives took over Rumah Merdeka in 2003 and since then has done its best to repair and conserve the structure of the historical building,” he told Bernama here recently.

According to him, Tunku also often received visitors at the house, located on the banks Sungai Anak Bukit, a tributary of the Sungai Kedah, to hold discussions on various matters including official affairs of the country.

Tunku, the seventh son of Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah, the 24th Sultan of Kedah, was also known for his charming personality and it was no big surprise when he led the delegation to London to negotiate the independence of Malaya in early 1956.

Meanwhile, a student of an institution of higher learning, Muhammad Izzat Syafiq Ibrahim, 25, from Kota Sarang Semut near here said his curiosity to know more about the Rumah Merdeka prompted him to visit the two-story bungalow.

“I was born in Perak, but my parents are from Kedah. They told me if I want to know about Tunku Abdul Rahman and the history of Merdeka, I don’t have to go to all the way to Kuala Lumpur or Melaka, just go to Rumah Merdeka because the Bapa Kemerdekaan (Father of Independence) is from Kedah.

“It is true, a lot of history is recorded here and I am also amazed to know that the goodwill mission from Jakarta which consists of Indonesian military officers once came to consult with the late Tunku at this house on the issue of Malaysia-Indonesia Confrontation,” he said.