December 3, 2012

0403 MALAYSIA (Selangor) - The Blue Mosque in Shah Alam

In 1957 when the Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia) gained independence, the head of state become the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (literally - He Who is Made Lord), title changed officialy in 1993 in Seri Paduka Baginda Yang di-Pertuan Agong (His Conqueror Majesty The Supreme Lord of the Federation). He is elected to a five-year term by and from among the nine hereditary rulers of the Malay states. The other four states are ruled by Yang di-Pertua Negeri (governors), who are part of the Majlis Raja-Raja (the Conference of Rulers), but don't participate when this council meets to decide matters related to the election. The first nine Yang di-Pertuan Agong were, by turn, the monarchs of the nine states, and the next five followed the order established by that cycle.

Accordingly, because that the second Yang di-Pertuan Agong was Sultan of Selangor, the eleventh was also the head of this state, Salahuddin Abdul Aziz. Sultan Salahuddin signed the cession of Kuala Lumpur from Selangor to the Federal Government to form a Federal Territory in 1974, and was also the founder of Shah Alam, the new Selangor state capital. Located about 25 kilometres west of the Kuala Lumpur, Shah Alam was the first planned city in Malaysia after independence from Britain. Its current name was chosen by the Sultan Salahuddin, after his father, Sultan Alam Shah.

Shah Alam is most famous for the Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah (Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque), also known as the Blue Mosque (in image), the largest mosque in Malaysia, and the second largest in Southeast Asia, after Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia. Erected between 1982 and 1988, its most distinguishing feature is its large blue and silver dome, constructed of aluminium, with the outer surface clad with vitreous enamel-baked triangular steel panels decorated with a rosette of verses from the Qur'an. Its architectural design is a combination of Malay and Modernist style. Fine decorative khat (Arabic calligraphy), executed by the Egyptian Shiekh Abdel Moneim Mohamed Ali El Sharkawi, can be seen on the inner curve of the dome and parts of the walls. In its early years, the mosque was listed in the Guinness World Records as having the tallest minaret in the world before being supplanted by the 210m at the Hassan II Mosque.

The postcard as a whole is somewhat strange, given that illustrates a mosque and it was sent on 23 December 2011, with Christmas greetings. Is no doubt that the sender, an european, hasn't realized the oddity of the gesture. The other postcard sent by Wilck on the same day and with the same greetings, illustrates a temple dedicated to Goddess Tian Hou.

About the stamp, showing a flower, Bunga Tiga Bulan (Hydrangea macrophylla), I wrote here.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong - Wikipedia
Salahuddin of Selangor - Wikipedia
Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Mosque - Wikipedia

sender: K. Wilck (a friend of a friend)
sent from Johor Bahru (Johor / Malaysia), on 23.12.2011

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