Press Digest - Negaraku tune adopted from 'La Rosalie'

PETALING JAYA: Contrary to the popular belief that the Negaraku's tune was adopted from an Indonesian song, historian Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim said it actually came from La Rosalie, a song written by composer Pierre Jean de Beranger, who was born in France in 1780 and died in 1857.

The tune was adopted and sung in various languages in many countries, among them Terang Bulan, the Indonesian version we are more familiar with, Sin Chew Daily reported yesterday.

La Rosalie was first covered in Dutch, followed by Indonesian, Japanese, English, Cantonese and Chinese.

Its English version is known as Mamula Moon (Hawaii).

In 1956, Tunku Abdul Rahman, who was chief minister and minister of interior affairs of Malaya, decided a national anthem be composed before Merdeka.

Hence a competition was held for composing the national anthem, resulting in hundreds of entries from all over the world but none pleased the selection committee headed by the Tunku.

Tunku eventually selected the tune of the Perak state anthem, Allah Usianya Sultan, the tune for which came from La Rosalie, which was popular in the late 19th century in Seychelles, where former Perak sultan, Sultan Abdullah Muhammad Shah II, was sent into exile by the British in 1877 following the assassination of first British Resident in Perak, JWW Birch.

Khoo said the tune for our National Anthem came from Seychelles and not Indonesia.

"We did not adopt the tune of an Indonesian folk song (for Negaraku)," he said, adding that the melody for Terang Bulan did not originate from Indonesia.