The national anthem was created in 1957 and the selection of the song was made by the former Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah.
The rhythm of the “Negaraku” was quoted from the rhythm of the state anthem of Perak. The state anthem of Perak had the original idea of the song “Terang Bulan” which is a song favored by Sultan Abdullah, the Sultan of Perak, while he was in exile on the island of Seychelles.
“Negaraku” emphasizes loyalty and unity for national progress. This song serves to raise patriotism and love for the homeland. The idea to create the national anthem arose when the country was then preparing to celebrate its Independence Day.
The national anthem should be played during the proclamation of Independence which was set on 31 August 1957. Thus, in February 1957, an official anthem creation contest was held. However, the four final songs that were shortlisted were rejected by the Special Committee of the National Anthem Selection (JKPLK), led by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj instead recommended the state Anthem of Perak as the basis for creating a national anthem of Malaysia. The proposal had been agreed by the other members of JKPLK. The Score for the song “Negaraku” was provided by Alfonso Soliano (leader of the Radio Orchestra of Malaya), D.S.P Croff (Music Director, the Royal Police Band), Captain Lenthall (Music Director, the Malay Military Band, Port Dickson) and A. T Reed (General Director of Radio Malaya).
The lyrics of the national anthem, “Negaraku” was prepared by a Special Committee led by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj with the agreement of the Malay Sultans. The national anthem, “Negaraku” was heard for the first time after the stroke of midnight on 31 August 1957, at the Selangor Club field. That historical evening witnessed the Union Jack was lowered and replaced with the flag of the Malay Peninsula, accompanied by the national anthem, “Negaraku”. Starting from this moment, the song “Negaraku” continued to be the national anthem.
Source: Malaysia 2016 (Department of Information)
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