My name is Merdeka.

Physically, i am a stadium but i feel like a white elephant lost in between the more sophisticated skyscrapers and modern architecture of Kuala Lumpur. I was christened 'Merdeka' for the most eventful occasion in our history.

I reminisce the declaration of Independence in 1957. The rich and poor, the young and old, of all racial background, gathered in my body and the partisan crowd shouted in unison, 'Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!'. I almost cried that day. The forefathers of Malaysia had finally freed our land from British colonisation. Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Sambanthan, Tun Tan Cheng Lok; names that will forever be etched in our struggle for Independence.

From then onwards, i witnessed the rapid growth of Kuala Lumpur. New friends in the form of concrete buildings started to appear around me. As far as i could remember, Victoria Institution has been there by my side long before i existed and has been my best buddy.

He whispered to me long, long time ago, 'Watch out for this phenomenal football talent. He is a nightmare for defenders. His name, Mokhtar Dahari.'

Malaysian football prospered for a period of time. The superheroes of Malaysian football promulgated the nation as a powerhouse in the '70s and the '80s. 'Supermokh' Mokhtar Dahari. 'Spiderman' R. Arumugam. 'Towkay' Soh Chin Aun. 'The King' Santokh Singh. I was proud to be the home ground for the national team, with shouts of 'Supermokh' frequently buzzing on matchdays, the crowd united to watch mesmerizing football from the Tigers of Asia. Arsenal lost against us, the England B team scrapped with a one all draw. We even qualified for Olympics twice.

Those were the days of Malaysian football.

In '75, the guy who floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee came over to our shores and i was made into a makeshift boxing arena. However, the match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner has to go down as one of the worst in boxing history. Joe Bugner really tested my patience with his defensive minded strategy.

But times have changed. I am no longer in my youthful state. The cracks, appearing on my concrete skin testify to the ageing process i am going through.

There's the Bukit Jalil Stadium, who is much more superior compared to what I am. And the next choice for sporting events would obviously be Shah Alam Stadium. I understand. I am merely an old, dysfunctional concrete block here in Kuala Lumpur.

There were plans to demolish me, but luckily, i was saved and made a national heritage. And now, i am undergoing a reconstructive surgery, a renovation of sorts.

I might suffer the same fate as my distant cousin, the Highbury in London sometime in the future. Razed down to the ground.

Maybe one day my legacy will disappear, and Malaysians would not even remember the existence of such stadium. But i am neither asking for remembrance nor reconstruction.

I just hope that Malaysians will never forget that day in 1957, the struggles and meaning of Independence.
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