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English: My Country
Coat of arms of Malaysia.svg

National anthem of  Malaysia
LyricsCollectively (original author: Saiful Bahri), 1954
MusicPierre-Jean de Béranger
Adopted1957; 64 years ago (1957)
Audio sample
Choral rendition

Negaraku is the national anthem of Malaysia. It was adopted as the national anthem at the time of the Federation of Malaya's independence from the United Kingdom in 1957. The tune was originally used as the regional anthem of Perak,[1] which was adopted from a popular French melody titled "La Rosalie" composed by the lyricist Pierre-Jean de Béranger.[2]

The anthem's arrangement was modified several times in 1992, 2003 and 2006.[citation needed]


Competition and invited composers[edit]

Pierre-Jean de Béranger, the creator of a popular French melody titled "La Rosalie", from which this song was adopted.

At the time of independence, each of the eleven states that made up the Federation of Malaya had their own regional anthem, but there was no national anthem for the Federation as a whole. Tunku Abdul Rahman, at the time the Chief Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, organised and presided over a committee for the purpose of choosing a suitable national anthem. At his suggestion, a worldwide competition was launched. 514 entries were received, but none were deemed suitable.

Next, the committee decided to invite selected composers of international repute to submit compositions for consideration. The composers chosen were Benjamin Britten (who later described his submission to be a "curious and I'm afraid rather unsuccessful job"[3]), Sir William Walton, who had recently composed the march for the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953, and the U.S. opera composer Gian Carlo Menotti and Zubir Said, who later composed Majulah Singapura, the national anthem of Singapore. Their works were also turned down.

Use of Perak State Anthem melody[edit]

Sultan Abdullah of Perak, who adopted De Béranger's "La Rosalie" as the Perak Royal Anthem during his exile in the Seychelles for abetting murder.

On 5 August 1957, the Committee chose the Perak State Anthem, citing the "traditional flavour" of its melody. New lyrics for the national anthem were written jointly by the Panel of Judges, led by the Tunku himself. At the time this melody was, while still the State Anthem of Perak, Allah Lanjutkan Usia Sultan.

The song had been very popular on Mahé, the largest island in the Seychelles, where the Sultan of Perak had formerly been living in exile. Some rumours claimed that he heard it at a public concert on the island; it was a song set to a popular French melody claimed to have been composed by the lyricist Pierre-Jean de Béranger (1780–1857), who was born and died in Paris. But there is no evidence for this since he was a lyricist who use tunes by others for his song, and the title is not listed in the four published volumes of his songs or the volume of tune he used for his songs.

It is also claimed that when Sultan Idris Murshidul Azzam Shah, who ruled Perak from 1887 to 1916, represented the Rulers of the Federated Malay States at the Coronation of King Edward VII in 1901, his protocol officer was asked what his state anthem was. Realising that his state did not have one, he proceeded to hum the aforementioned tune so as not to appear backward in front of his hosts.[4]

The song was later used in an Indonesian Bangsawan (opera), which was performing in Singapore around 1940. In no time at all, the melody became extremely popular and was given the name "Terang Bulan". Aside from its dignity and prestige as the Perak State Anthem, the song became a Malayan "evergreen", playing at parties and cabarets, and sung by almost everybody in the 1920s and 1930s. Since Malaya's independence, it is no longer played as a popular melody as its use is proscribed by statute.

1992 rearrangement[edit]

The anthem was given a new, faster march beat in 1992, which proved unpopular and was the subject of much derision, with some Malaysians commenting that the altered tempo resembled circus music.

2003 rearrangement and proposed renaming[edit]

In July 2003, it was reported in the Malaysian press that the anthem would be rearranged for the second time and the title and incipit would be changed from Negaraku to Malaysiaku (meaning "My Malaysia"). There was a public outcry of dismay and the move was scrapped, but the anthem was re-arranged and returned to the pre-1992 time signature by composer Wah Idris.[5][6]


Original Malay lyrics Jawi script (unofficial) English translation

Tanah tumpahnya darahku,
Rakyat hidup,
Bersatu dan maju!

Rahmat bahagia,
Tuhan kurniakan,
Raja kita,
Selamat bertakhta!

Rahmat bahagia,

،تانه تومڤهڽ دارهكو
،رعيت هيدوڤ
!برساتو دان ماجو

،رحمة بهاݢيا
،توهن كورنياكن،
،راج کيت
!سلامت برتختا

،رحمة بهاݢيا

My motherland,
For whom I spill my blood,
The people live,
United and progressive!

With divine blessings
of peace and joy,
Long may our King,
reign sublime!

With divine blessings


Individual conduct[edit]

Whenever the National Anthem is played or sung or whenever the abridged or short version is played, all persons present shall stand to attention as a mark of respect except where it is played or sung as part of a radio or television broadcast or newsreels. All headgear (except religious and military ones) must be removed and all those in attendance must face the Jalur Gemilang, if it is present. Servicemen in uniform, when out of formation, must give a salute when the Anthem plays.[citation needed]

Failure to comply with Section 8 (1) of the National Anthem Act 1968[7] without good and sufficient cause, and any act or omission which lowers the Anthem's prestige in the eyes of the public is legally construed as a show of disrespect. Any person who knowingly shows disrespect towards the Anthem in any public place shall be liable to a fine not exceeding MYR100 or a prison term not exceeding one month.


Any of several versions of the anthem, each decreasing in length, are played with regards to the significance of the rank of the person in attendance at an occasion, as specified by the Act.

Full ("Royal") version[edit]

According to the Act, the full or "Royal" version of the National Anthem shall be played on the following occasions:

  • when a salute is given to the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or his deputy while exercising the functions of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, or a Ruler nominated to exercise the functions of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong in accordance with the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Exercise of Functions) Act 1957, or when the royal standard is displayed to signify his presence;
  • during official parades or other official ceremonial functions;
  • on all occasions when the Yang di-Pertuan Agong is present in person (including radio and television broadcasts);
  • when the Jalur Gemilang is borne in parades;
  • when regimental colours are presented; and
  • for hoisting of the colours of the Royal Malaysian Navy.

The full version may be played in schools for the purpose of teaching pupils how to sing it properly, and on any other occasion that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, by order, prescribe.

Special occasions[edit]

At all official receptions for foreign dignitaries at which the salute is given, the full version shall be played immediately after the anthem of the visiting dignitary's country has been played.

At all official occasions arranged by foreign missions in Malaysia for celebrating their respective national days or other national occasions, the protocol for anthems in the presence of a foreign dignitary are observed.

Abridged version[edit]

The abridged version is played as a salute on all official occasions to the Raja Permaisuri Agong and the Yang di-Pertua Negeri. When a salute is given to a particular Head of a state, the abridged version is played before the relevant State Anthem.

The abridged version is also played on any occasion that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong may, by order, prescribe.

Short version[edit]

On any official occasion when The Yang di-Pertuan Agong or his representative is not present but one of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri is present, the short version is played at the conclusion of the event immediately after the relevant State Anthem.

Other songs with same melody[edit]

Three gramophone record versions have been released in the following titles bearing the similar tune of the Malaysian anthem:


"Mamula Moon" was pressed on Parlophone Records (Catalogue Ref: F.2211) in the 1930s, performed by British Band Legend, Geraldo and His Orchestra, with vocals by Danny Vaughn. This love song was performed using jazz instruments on a foxtrot dance beat.[citation needed]


"I Shall Return" was recorded by Anne Shelton in the late 1940s, by Pickwick Music Ltd, published on Decca 78rpm record (Catalogue Ref. F.10037/DR.17340).[citation needed]


The song was also recorded by the Sydney Latin band leader Paul Lombard (also known as Paul Lombard and His Orchestra), as "Malayan Moon" in 1952 with lyrics sung by Joan Wilton (in English) and Geoff Brooke (in Malay), released by Columbia Records in Sydney as D0-3460. The significance of this piece of recording, which is only playable on gramophones running at 78 rpm speed, is that the background music is conducted so similarly to the Malayan style of music background, setting the originality and authentic Malayan atmosphere to the tune. The song was performed by non-natives (Australians) singing in both English and Malay. The lyrics present a love story setting between the two lovers. The other side of the record is the song "Planting Rice", also performed by Paul Lombard accompanied by a vocal chorus by Joan Wilton. This piece of music was copyrighted by Southern Music Co. of Sydney.[citation needed]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Unity and progress are anthem themes". The Sunday Times. 25 August 1957.
  2. ^ Kong See Hoh (7 June 2016). "Negaraku tune adopted from 'La Rosalie'". The Sun. Sun Media Corporation Sdn. Bhd. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
  3. ^ Marshall, Alex (2 October 2015). "Benjamin Britten's 'lost' Malaysian anthem". BBC News. BBC. Retrieved 8 April 2016.
  4. ^ The National Anthem Of Malaysia - Negaraku, archived from the original on 11 January 2010
  5. ^ "More people are against changing Negaraku to Malaysiaku". New Straits Times. 17 August 2003. Retrieved 31 July 2015.[dead link]
  6. ^ Kent, Jonathan (31 August 2003). "New anthem marks Malaysia's Independence Day". BBC News. Retrieved 31 July 2015.
  7. ^ s 3 National Anthem Act 1968 Archived 11 January 2012 at the Wayback Machine


External links[edit]

External audio
audio icon Vocal rendition Retrieved 13 October 2014