Wednesday, August 31, 2005

National Day - Hari Merdeka

It's National Day in Malaysia, so if you happen to live near one of the few Malaysians that inhabit our state, give them a big hug and punch a Brit where they can see it (although I'm pretty certain they'd appreciate you punching either someone British or someone Japanese - the older the better).

In the spirit of Hari Merdeka, I offer a sampling from the New Strait Times' list of "48 Little known facts that add to the wonder of Malaysia":

1. Tunku Abdul Rahman first announced the date of Malaya’s Independence at Padang Pahlawan in Bandar Hilir, Malacca, on Feb 20, 1956.

4. "Tun" is the most senior federal title and there can be no more than 25 living recipients at any one time.

11. Kuala Kangsar district office is the site of the last surviving rubber tree from the original batch H.N. Ridley brought from London’s Kew Gardens in 1877.

18. The largest insect egg in Malaysia comes from the 15cm Malaysian stick insect (Heteropteryx dilitata), which lays eggs that measure 1.3cm, making them larger than a peanut.

31. Kota Baru was the landing point for the Japanese invasion of Malaya during World War II in 1941. Riding bicycles, Japanese soldiers took an amazing 45 days to reach Singapore.

36. Many global brands are produced in Malaysia, including Intel Pentium chips and Brooks Brothers’ shirts.

38. The spiritual pop group Raihan holds the record for the best-selling local album: 700,000 units of their Puji-Pujian album in 1996.

39. The longest King Cobra in the world, measuring 5.54m, was captured alive near Port Dickson in April 1937 but later grew to 5.71 metres in captivity in London Zoo.

45. The word ringgit means "jagged" in Malay, and originally referred to the serrated edges of Spanish silver dollars widely circulated in the region.

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