Things You Might Not Know About ‘Bunga Raya’

As the 63rd National Day approaching this 31 August 2020, let’s find out some interesting facts about our national flower – the bunga raya or hibiscus.

Declared as the national flower of Malaysia in 1960

The Ministry of Agriculture proposed for a national flower a year after independence, which led to Malaysian state governments suggesting hibiscus as well as seven other type — rose (bunga mawar), ylang-ylang (bunga kenanga), jasmine (bunga melur), lotus (bunga teratai), magnolia (bunga cempaka) and medlar (bunga tanjung).

After careful consideration, our then Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman eventually declared Hibiscus rosa-sinensis as our national flower on 28 July 1960.  

Photo Credit: Thilipen Rave Kumar | Pexels

Hibiscus was chosen because of its vibrant colours, striking shape and it is also abundant in the country

Hibiscus stands out among other proposed candidates because of its vibrant colour and striking shape. Besides, the flower grows quickly and easily and requires little maintenance, which makes many Malaysian homes grow it as decoration. 

Photo Credit: Heather Morse | Unsplash

Its five petals symbolise the five principles of Rukun Negara

Malaysia’s Rukan Negara or National Principles are:

  • Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan (Belief in God)
  • Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara (Loyalty to King and Country)
  • Keluhuran Perlembagaan (Supremacy of the Constitution)
  • Kedaulatan Undang-undang (Rule of Law)
  • Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan (Mutual Respect and Morality)
Photo Credit: UniKL

Symbolise unity, courage, and vitality

Literally known as “celebratory flower” in Malay, it represents the celebration of unity in our multicultural nation, as well as stand for our people’s courage and vitality. 

It has many medicinal properties

Food products and beverages such as tea made of hibiscus can reduce high blood pressure, lower cholesterol, protect internal organs, improves digestion, and possess anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and anti-cancer properties. It is also commonly used as a hair tonic in India to treat hair loss. 

Photo Credit: Travel-DMC


Visit the hibiscus gardens in Perdana Botanical Garden, Kuala Lumpur or Sabah Agricultural Park if you want to enjoy this bright flower with your loved ones this coming Merdeka long weekend! 

Selamat Hari Merdeka, Malaysia! 


Featured Photo Credit:
Artiom Vallat | Unsplash

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