National Mosque….Malaysia’s Independence Symbol

Blue Hop on Hop Off bus little bit squeak in braking when entering a bend that leads this tourist bus into a worship building which is full of charisma. “Nash(ә)n(ә)l mäsk”…. My mouth spelled a black marble with gold alphabet.

Thought fast….Get off or not at all.

Ladies and gentlemen, who want to visit the mosque, please get off here. Have a good visit”, beautiful tour guide smiled while holding her microphones.

Not listed in my itinerary, It didn’t make me turn and I chose it to be a bonus destination on my last day before returning to Jakarta.

It was the first Prime Minister who gave it a name as National Mosque

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj is a nobleman who played an important role in its construction until naming this mosque. The initiator of the construction of National Mosque as an expression of gratitude for Malaysia’s independence from British colonialism without spilling out Malaysian blood.

I slowly entered main building after performing ablution to fulfill Asr pray. A room under a great dome auspices and high-quality soft carpet. I almost didn’t want to move from its comfort which trapping me.

The dome has 18 star-shaped ornaments.

Eighteen ornaments which alternately pronunciation of Allah and Muhammad symbolize 13 states in Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy and 5 pillars of Islam as foundation of Islamic religion which is embraced by more than 60% of Malaysians.

The extent of building….Indeed, it can’t be doubted if some statements state that National Mosque can hold up to 15,000 worshipers at a time. Incredibly, that’s half capacity of Patriot Stadium in Bekasi (a stadium near my home).

At front door before main worship room, you will find a white tower which stands in one corner of a pool which makes this mosque more elegant.

National Mosque tower is 73 meters in high.

Also pay attention when you enter this mosque. Then at far left, there is a building which is separated by a short corridor from mosque’s main building. Its white roof is in the shape of seven stars and below it, there are tombs of country’s great heroes. One of the famous heroes who buried here is Tun Abdul Razak. Bugis descendant who played an important role behind Malaysian independence.

Here are tombs of Malaysian moslem heroes.

National Mosque itself was inaugurated and opened to public about 8 years after Malaysia’s independence day. Do you know, when was Malaysia independent?…Yup, 1957.

Its inaugurating coincide with a year in which Malaysia and Singapore constitutionally separated..

Had become the largest mosque in Malaysia before this title was seized by Blue Mosque in Shah Alam area.

National Mosque is architecturally connected to Old Railway Station building through an underground passageway. The train station itself is located adjacent to Malayan Railway Administration Building which is currently used as headquarters of KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu).

A building at my behind is Malayan Railway Administration Building.

Going to KL….Let’s stop by at National Mosque!

KTM Laluan Seremban….The Main Line of Batu Caves Tourism.

My arrival which was too late in KL Sentral made my schedule a mess. The first day when I had to visit Genting Highlands must be delayed.

You need to go back at night if you go this afternoon. If you go back in the evening, you won’t get anything there” a joked from staff at bus ticket counter.

Instead of I struggled at night in a condition that I didn’t got a hotel yet, I’d better postpone my intention to Genting and I would go on next day.

I immediately changed my destination….Yess, I headed for Batu Caves. It is the easiest and fastest way because the train which go there departs from KL Sentral.

But Guys, the train in KL Sentral-Batu Caves route operated in 2014. When I came to Kuala Lumpur in April 2019, KL Sentral-Batu Caves route had changed. See the route changes on this link:

New Route to Batu Caves, Malaysia


This time I willn’t focus on the route, but I will tell about the line…. Yups, It is KTM Laluan Seremban (Kereta Tanah Melayu-Seremban Line).

Chinese technology in Indian destination.

Why is that?

The train which runs on this line is an electric train which made in China….While the most favorite destination in this line is Batu Caves which is a place of worship of Indian descent citizen.

Indeed, in the last few years, Malaysia has been ahead than Indonesia in boosting infrastructure with loans from Chinese government.

KTM Laluan Seremban has the last two stations which is visited i.e Port Klang station in southwest and Batu Caves station in north. In total this train passes 27 stations.

KTM Laluan Seremban is a commuter train route. Whereas commuter trains in each country are made to connect city center with suburban areas and majority of passenger are commuters.

Slightly different from Indonesia which uses quality used trains from Japan to be operated as commuter trains, Malaysia prefers to use “made in China” trains with a slightly futuristic shape. I was eager to try it when I saw its shape which looks like a bullet train in some developed countries

Using commuter train started from KL Sentral station.

Tickets aren’t sold at Automatic Fare Machine like MRT, LRT and Kuala Lumpur monorail tickets, but these commuter train tickets are sold in cash at ticket sales counter.

In 2014, ticket price towards Batu Caves station from KL Sentral was USD 0.5.

KTM Ticket from Batu Caves to KL Sentral. In 2019, tickets are sold in the form of a pass card.
LCD info screen on KTM Laluan Seremban platform

The following picture is interior appearance of KTM Laluan Seremban

Seats facing to the side.
Seats facing forward.
Passengers were very quiet.
Seven bans on the train.

The prohibitions applied on the train are smoking, eating and drinking, littering, throwing gum, doing immoral things, carrying dangerous goods and carrying animals.

Appearance of train coach….Very nice.
Slogans which were issued by YAB PM and were advertised on each train seats.

YAB PM stands for Yang Amat Berhormat Perdana Menteri (the Most Honorable Prime Minister). 1Malaysia slogan is a campaign to unite one Malaysian nation regardless of ethnicity and cultural differences. As Bhinneka Tunggal Ika (Unity in Diversity) in Indonesia’s slogan.

This KTM is made by CSR Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co. Ltd

Zhuzhou Electric Locomotive Co. CSR Ltd is one of many electric train manufacturers in China. This company’s reputation is very cool because it supplies electric trains for Macedonian Railways in Eastern Europe, Shanghai Metro in China and Rapid KL in Malaysia.

Six facilities are provided at KTM Laluan Seremban.

This modern technology train has several good facilities such as priority seats, modern cockpit for machinists, dynamic route map on each train door to facilitate passengers in monitoring the presence of trains, two female-only coach in each train, LCD info screen in each coach and of course CCTV .

Next is appearance of Batu Caves station which is the last stop of this line.

Batu Caves station.
“Batu Caves station” situation at other side.

Well….If you go to Kuala Lumpur, try this train!

Masjid Negara….Simbol Kemerdekaan Malaysia

Hop On Hop Off berkelir biru sedikit berdecit saat mengerem ketika memasuki tikungan yang menggiring kendaraan wisata ini merapat ke sebuah bangunan peribadatan yang penuh kharisma. “Nash(ә)n(ә)l mäsk”….Mulutku mengeja marmer hitam bernama emas itu.

Berfikir cepat….Turun atau tidak sama sekali.

Tuan-tuan dan puan-puan, yang hendak melawat masjid, sila turun disini. Selamat melawat”, tour guide cantik itu tersenyum sembari memegang microphonenya sejak tadi.

Tak tercantum dalam itineraryku, tak membuatku berpaling dan aku memilihnya menjadi destinasi bonus di hari terakhir sebelum pulang ke Jakarta.

Perdana Menteri pertamalah yang memberikannya nama Masjid Negara.

Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj adalah bangsawan yang berperan penting dalam pembangunan hingga penamaan masjid ini. Penggagas dibangunnya Masjid Negara sebagai perwujudan rasa syukur atas kemerdekaan Malaysia dari kolonialisme Inggris tanpa harus bertumpah darah.

Perlahan aku memasuki bangunan utama setelah berwudhu untuk menunaikan kewajiban Ashar. Sebuah ruangan dibawah naungan kubah agung dan beralaskan karpet lembut berkualitas tinggi. Hampir saja aku tak sudi beranjak dari kenyamanan yang memerangkap diri.

Kubah memiliki 18 ornamen berbentuk bintang.

Delapan belas ornamen yang bergantian lafal Allah dan Muhammad itu melambangkan 13 negara bagian dalam pemerintahan monarki konstitusional Malaysia dan 5 rukun islam sebagai pondasi agama islam yang dianut lebih dari 60% warga Malaysia.

Luasnya bangunan….Memang tak bisa diragukan jika beberapa statement menyatakan bahwa Masjid Negara manpu menampung hingga 15.000 jama’ah dalam satu waktu. Luar biasa, itu kan setengah dari kapasitas Stadion Patriot Bekasi.

Dibagian pintu depan sebelum ruang peribadatan utama, kamu akan menemukan menara putih yang berdiri di salah satu sudut kolam air yang membuat masjid ini semakin gagah.

Menara Masjid Negara setinggi 73 meter.

Perhatikan juga ketika kamu memasuki masjid, maka di ujung sebelah kiri terdapat bangunan yang hanya terpisahkan koridor pendek dari bangunan utama masjid. Atap putihnya berbentuk bintang tujuh dan dibawahnya bersemayam beberapa pahlawan besar negara. Salah satu pahlawan terkenal yang dimakamkan disini adalah Tun Abdul Razak. Keturunan Bugis yang berperan penting dibalik kemerdekaan Malaysia.

Berikut wujud makan pahlawan-pahlawan pemimpin muslim Malaysia.

Masjid Negara sendiri diresmikan dan dibuka untuk umum sekitar 8 tahun setelah tanggal kemerdekaannya. Kamu tahu kan, kapan Malaysia merdeka?….Yup, 1957.

Diresmikan bertepatan dengan tahun dimana Malaysia dan Singapura berpisah secara konstitusi.

Sempat menjadi masjid terbesar di Malaysia sebelum predikat itu direbut oleh Masjid Biru di daerah Shah Alam.

Masjid Negara secara arsitektur terkoneksi dengan bangunan Old Railway Station melalui lorong bawah tanah. Stasiun kereta ini sendiri terletak berdekatan dengan Malayan Railway Administration Building yang saat ini digunakan sebagai kantor pusat KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu).

Bangunan dibelakang itu adalah Malayan Railway Administration Building.

Ke KL….ya mampir lah ke Masjid Negara !

Exploring Penang Sentral

The increasing of direct flights from Jakarta to Penang, making traveler prefer landed at Penang International Airport rather than do travel overland for about 6-8 hours from Malaysia’s capital.

And if you are patient to do overland trip, your memory will be filled with interesting experiences and accompanied by breathtaking views throughout Selangor State and Perak State.

Then ….For you who travel overland using bus then majority of buses will stop at Penang Sentral which is tourist gateway of Penang Island.

Therefore….So you will not confuse and can get detail preview of Penang Central, so I present this article to you.

Yessss … that’s Penang Sentral appearance.

PENANG SENTRAL …. Built in 2018 as main transportation hub owned by Penang State. Penang Sentral strategically replaces Butterworth Bus Terminal role with an exceptional integration system. As you can imagine, this large building integrates bus terminal, train station and ferry port in a location. Third integrated building which I admire in Malaysia after KL Sentral and Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS).

Butterworth Bus Terminal before Penang Sentral is completed.
Penang Island is seen from Penang Central.


This is my story of exploring Penang Central.…

At 13:54 hours, I arrived at Penang Sentral … yes, of course, I was dropped off at Drop Bay in 1st floor.

And for presenting this article, I delayed towards ferry terminal which can anchor me in George Town, capital of Penang State.

For 1 hour and 20 minutes, I would explore Penang Sentral.


Starting from this hall:

You will be dropped off at Drop Bay Area when you arrive at Penang Sentral.

Generally, 1st floor is used to drop and take passengers.

This is intercity/express bus platform area when I left Penang Sentral.


Come on, we’re going up to second floor. What are there?

After you go up escalator, you will see 2nd floor view.

So….What are you looking for?

  1. Bus Ticketing Counter.

Bus ticket sales counter is in front of me after I go up with escalator. I immediately buy a bus ticket to leave Penang with schedule about two days after my arrival in Penang. Existence of KiosK Self Ticketing which stuck to building pillar made me stop before reach sales counter. I am better to finding cheapest bus ticket via that machine, because many buses with varying fares provide routes to Ipoh.

Finally, I held Perak Transit bus ticket sheet after putting USD 5,2 in KiosK Self Ticketing machine….Bus ticket was in hand, my heart was calm.

That’s Penang Sentral Departure Board….Self Ticketing Kiosk is on that pillar. Do you see?

2. Information Centre

The first standard when arriving at a foreign place is visiting information centre to get as much information as possible before exploring it more deeply. So did I, asking about Penang tourism, asking for brochures, finding ways to leave the city in the best way and many other things which I asked to information centre officer.

Very easy to find it….It is in front of bus ticketing counter.

3. Ferry Terminal.

Walking on back side of Bus Ticketing Counter, in several meters you will find a linkway to Ferry Terminal. Located to left side of your steps, you will see clearly a direction sign whinch leading you to Ferry Terminal.

Linkway to Ferry Terminal.

Walk straight for about dozens of steps you will find a Customer Service Center which sells ferry tickets to George Town. The name of ferry terminal is Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim.

It’s cheap….ticket price is only USD 0,3 for a round trip ticket

4. Shopping Counter.

Actually more Shopping Counter are on 3rd floor. I didn’t have time to visit it because it was already late and if I didn’t leave Penang Sentral soon, my exploration in Penang Island would be disrupted.

Shopping counter which I showed was only on 2nd floor.

5. Eatery

Food stalls are located near linkway to Ferry Terminal. These are certainly guaranteed halal and relatively cheap in price.

Iqbal’s Restaurant is my place to eat when I enter and leave Penang
Try the squid….Delicious

6. Butterworth Station.

Another integrated transportation mode in Penang Sentral is train. Train station is called Butterworth Station. The station building is located separately from Penang Sentral main building.

To find this station. Walking straight pass Bus Ticketing Counter on 2nd floor, then you will find an lift at end of floor. Then go down to 1st floor via lift.

Lift is at end of 2nd

Not too far after exiting lift, on 1st floor then you will find a corridor with KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) sign as a guide to Butterworth Station.

Front corridor appearance.

After a few tens of meters down the hall you will find a white building which is none other than Butterworth Station.

I rushed to hunt for an ETS (Electric Train Service) ticket but it was sold out.

OK…That is my story. I have explained all results of my exploration in Penang Sentral.

So, finally, you want to go to Penang by land or by air?

Mengenal Penang Sentral

Semakin banyaknya direct flight dari Jakarta menuju Penang, membuat para traveler lebih memilih untuk turun di Penang International Airport daripada harus bersusah payah melintasi daratan negeri jiran selama 6-8 jam dari ibukotanya.

Padahal jika Kamu mau saja bersabar untuk melakukan perjalanan darat tersebut maka memorimu akan terisi dengan pengalaman yang menarik dan disertai dengan pemandangan yang mempesona di sepanjang negara bagian Selangor dan Perak.

Lalu….Buat Kamu yang melakukan perjalanan darat menggunakan bus maka mayoritas bus akan berhenti di Penang Sentral yang merupakan gerbang darat wisata Pulau Penang.

Oleh karenanya….supaya Kamu tidak bingung dan bisa mendapatkan gambaran mengenai bentuk dan seluk beluk Penang Sentral, maka Kuhadirkan tulisan ini untuk Kalian.

Yessss….itulah penampakan Penang Sentral.

PENANG SENTRAL….Dibangun pada tahun 2018 sebagai main transportation hub milik Negara Bagian Penang. Penang Sentral secara strategis menggantikan peran Butterworth Bus Terminal dengan sistem integrasi yang luar biasa. Bisa Kamu bayangkan, bangunan besar itu mengintegrasikan terminal bus, stasiun kereta dan pelabuhan ferry dalam satu lokasi. Bangunan terintegrasi ketiga yang kukagumi di Malaysia setelah KL Sentral dan Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS).

Butterworth Bus Terminal sebelum Penang Sentral selesai dibangun.
Pulau Penang dilihat dari Penang Sentral.


Inilah kisahku membedah Penang Sentral….

Jam 13:54, Aku sampai di Penang Sentral….ya iyalah, tentunya diturunkan di Drop Bay lantai 1.

Dan demi menghadirkan tulisan ini, Aku relakan diri menunda sejenak menuju ferry terminal yang bisa melabuhkanku di George Town si ibukota Negara Bagian Penang.

Selama 1 jam 20 menit, Aku akan mengeksplore Penang Sentral.


Bermula dari hall ini:

Kamu akan diturunkan di Drop Bay Area ketika tiba di Penang Sentral.

Secara umum lantai 1 ini digunakan untuk menurunkan dan menaikkan penumpang.

Ini adalah platform intercity/express bus area saat Aku meninggalkan Penang Sentral.


Yuk, Kita naik ke lantai 2. Ada apakah gerangan?

Begitu naik escalator, Kamu akan melihat sekilas luasnya lantai 2.

So….Apa yang kamu cari?

  1. Bus Ticketing Counter.

Konter penjualan tiket bus berada tepat dihadapanku setelah selesai menaiki escalator. Yang kulakukan saat itu adalah langsung membeli tiket bus untuk meninggalkan Penang dengan jadwal dua hari setelah kedatanganku di Penang. Keberadaan Self Ticketing KiosK yang menempel di salah satu pilar membuatku mengurungkan diri untuk bergegas ke konter. Lebih baik aku mengeksplore harga tiket bus termurah via mesin itu, karena banyak armada dengan tarif bervariasi menyediakan rute menuju Ipoh.

Akhirnya kugenggam lembaran tiket bus Perak Transit setelah memasukkan uang senilai Rp 70.000….Tiket bus di tangan, hati pun tenang.

Itu Departure Board Penang Sentral…. Self Ticketing Kiosk ada di pilar itu. Lihat ga?

2. Information Centre

Standar pertama ketika tiba di tempat asing adalah mengunjungi Information Centre untuk mendapatkan informasi sebanyak-banyaknya sebelum mengeksplorenya lebih dalam. Begitu pun Aku, menanyakan perihal pariwisata Penang, meminta brosur, mencari cara bagaimana meninggalkan kota dengan cara terbaik dan banyak hal lain yang kutanyakan ke petugas information centre.

Mudah kok menemukannya….tepat di depan Bus Ticketing Counter.

3. Ferry Terminal.

Berjalanlah membelakangi Bus Ticketing Counter maka setelah beberapa saat  Kamu akan menemukan linkway menuju Ferry Terminal. Terletak di sebelah kiri arah jalanmu maka akan terlihat dengan jelas direction sign menuju ke Ferry Terminal.

Linkway menuju Ferry Terminal.

Berjalanlah lurus maka dalam belasan langkah maka kamu akan menemukan Customer Service Centre yang menjual tiket ferry menuju George Town. Nama ferry terminalnya adalah Pangkalan Sultan Abdul Halim.

Murah kok….harga tiketnya Cuma Rp. 4.000. Satu tiket untuk pulang pergi

4. Shopping Counter.

Sebetulnya Shopping Counter lebih banyak berada di lantai 3. Aku tak sempat mengunjunginya karena sudah kesorean dan jika tak segera meninggalkan Penang Sentral maka eksplorasiku di Pulau Penang pasti akan terganggu.

Shopping Counter yang kutunjukkan ini hanya yang berada di lantai 2.

5. Eatery

Kedai penjual makanan ada di dekat linkway menuju Ferry Terminal. Sudah pasti dijamin kehalalannya dan harganya yang tergolong murah.

Iqbal’s Restaurant menjadi tempat makanku saat masuk dan keluar Penang
Cobain cuminya deh….maknyus

6. Stasiun Butterworth.

Satu moda transportasi lagi yang terintegrasi di Penang Sentral adalah kereta. Nah, stasiun keretanya bernama Stasiun Butterworth. Hanya saja bangunannya terletak terpisah dari bangunan utama Penang Sentral.

Untuk menemukan stasiun ini. Berjalanlah lurus melewati Bus Ticketing Counter di lantai 2, maka Kamu akan menemukan lift di ujung lantai. Kemudian turunlah ke lantai 1 melalui lift itu.

Lift diujung ruangan lantai 2.

Tak terlalu jauh setelah keluar dari lift di lantai 1 maka Kamu akan menemukan sebuah lorong dengan tanda KTM (Keretapi Tanah Melayu) sebagai petunjuk menuju Stasiun Butterworth.

Penampakan depan lorong.

Setelah beberapa puluh meter menyusuri lorong maka Kamu akan menemukan bangunan berwarna putih yang tak lain adalah Stasiun Butterworth.

Maksud hati berburu tiket ETS (Electric Train Service) tapi ternyata sold out….ealah.

OKE…Cukup sekian ya. Aku sudah menjelaskan semua hasil eksplorasiku di Penang Sentral.

Jadi, akhirnya Kamu mau ke Penang lewat darat atau lewat udara nih?…….