Jom Belajar: The Story Behind ‘Negara Ku’ – Malaysia’s National Anthem

For our last Jom Belajar article for the end of the school year, we learn more about Malaysia's national anthem, 'Negara Ku'!
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Home » ISKL Blog » Jom Belajar: The Story Behind 'Negara Ku' - Malaysia's National Anthem

For our last Jom Belajar article for the end of the school year, we learn more about Malaysia’s national anthem, ‘Negara Ku’!

Before independence in 1957, each of the (then) eleven states of Malaysia had their own anthem, but there was no unified anthem for the whole country. Malaysia’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj , led a committee to select a new anthem. Although hundreds of submissions were received, none were found suitable, and so Perak’s state anthem was chosen for its traditional sounding melody, and new lyrics were added. 

Here are some more fun facts about the Malaysian National Anthem:

  • Some theories say that the Negara Ku anthem, which means ‘My Country’ in Bahasa Malaysia, is an adaptation of the Perak State anthem, inspired by the tune from a French melody titled “La Rosalie’ ‘ composed by songwriter Pierre Jean Beranger.
  • In 1992, the anthem was rearranged to give it a livelier march rhythm; however, it was unpopular with Malaysians, and in 2003 the tempo was returned to its original form.
  • There is a full version of the anthem, and a shorter version – the full version is generally used in the presence of the King of Malaysia, and the shorter version to honor the Queen of Malaysia and lesser officials.
  • The national anthem was played for the first time after the Declaration of Independence on 31 August 1957.

To listen to ‘NegaraKu’ in all its glory, do catch this fantastic rendition performed by our very own Class of 2021 graduates Sophie Wagner, Francisca (Frany) Ortola Villanueva, Esther Tan, and Bianca Prameswari at their virtual graduation ceremony last week. Enjoy!.

Do also check the English translation of the song here.

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