Feb 2019 - Visit to Galleria SERI PERDANA
Guided Tour of Galleria Seri Perdana, Former Home of Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad

MCG’S outing to Galleria Seri Perdana was so exciting to members that all spaces were taken within two hours. I was fortunate when one member cancelled: I received her spot. Thank you to her and I do hope she will be able to go on another occasion. The museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9.00 to 5.00 and is foc! You can walk in off the street, but if you would like a guide, as we had Nor Sham, you should book with the museum before you go.

The Galleria was the previous home of Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the current - and the 4th in the history of Malaysia – Prime Minister. It is located in a green garden setting high above the busy streets of KL. We first noticed how the entire collection of furniture and ornaments are held away from visiting plebs like us by plate glass windows. This keeps everything tidily arranged and easily viewed.

We processed first through the main lounge which was for official overseas and local dignitaries and family celebrations. Magnificent carved wood panels covered the walls from floor to ceiling. The chairs and sofas also had carved timber, though with comfortable tapestry covered seats and cushions. The ante lounge was almost as large as the main lounge,with white tiled flooring tiles and a magnificent Persian rug. Its ceiling was hand painted by an artist imported from Kazakstan.  Here the PM’s wife could entertain her friends and complete useful jobs such as packing food to be given away.


The dining room was huge befitting the role of entertaining world figures. It had over 70 dining chairs and the tables would have been able to cope with more.  The ceiling had beautiful geometrical and oriental carvings on either side of glittering chandeliers.



Behind these important rooms there was a small one of importance too: a hair cutting salon and behind that a carpentry room which, to our surprise, we could see excellent carvings done by Dr Mahathir himself when he had time off from his incredibly busy schedule. Among others, he carved a model aeroplane.


Next came the large kitchen where dishes such as Nasi Himpit and Kuah Kacang could be prepared for the first days of Hari Raya. Round a corner, the exhibition area held wonderful ornaments given as presents to the PM and also some photos of a much younger PM wearing hunting pink and holding his horse.


Upstairs there were, unsurprisingly, bedrooms, but unlike our homes first there were huge floor to ceiling displays of brass ornaments, another of silver ornaments, another of colourfully dressed little dolls. Another housed a hat collection and a shoe collection. Ahead there was the family kitchen and dining room.

The library had easy chairs as well as well stocked bookcases and several desks.


The bedroom of Marina, Dr Mahathir’s youngest daughter abutted a well-stocked dressing room. That of Marina had beds, desks and was large enough to house her classmates when they were studying for exams.


The bedroom of Dr Mahathir and his wife, was fittingly luxurious with an antique designed bed as well as an area for prayers. They also shared a dressing room.  


Our tour inside finished, Nor Sham took us outside to view an impressive array of cars given by the car manufacturers to the PM. The car he was being driven in when he lived here had a number plate Proton 2020. Apparently, his current car has the same number plate 2020 being the vision he has for Malaysia. We have only another year until we see if his 2020 vision comes true.


By Judyth Gregory Smith