Your dose of ASEAN information

Monday, May 11, 2015

ASEAN Palaces of Power

The most powerful and influential figures in our region apart from having their own homes live in what we call "official residences" where they exercise their power and receive foreign dignitaries to name a few. Just like the people living there, these official residences yield power and influence as well.

Let's get to know where our leaders reside, the name of their residences and other information that can come in handy in the future.

The Istana Nurul Iman in Bandar Seri Begawan is both the Sultan of Brunei's official residence and the seat of the country's government. It was designed by Filipino architect Leandro V. Locsin and was completed in 1984. It became the largest residential palace in the world and the largest single family residence ever built.

The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh was constructed over a century ago to serve as the residence of King Norodom Sihamoni of Cambodia. It is located on the grounds of the Royal Palace Complex in Phnom Penh. The palace was built together with adjacent royal buildings in 1866 when the royal seat was transferred from Oudong.

Istana Negera and Istana Merdeka, or the Freedom Palace, is the Official Residence and Office of the President of the Republic of Indonesia as well as the Istana Negara. Both are located in the same compound next to each other. The place is where Indonesia’s Independence Day takes place every 17th of August and where dignitaries are received. 

The Presidential Palace in the capital Vientiane is where the Laotian President officially reside. But he rarely goes here; except for state functions. It was originally built for the French Colonial governors in the 1900s and the Royal Family briefly lived here before they were deposed in the 1970s. It is located at the base of Lane Xang Road.

Istana Negara is Malaysia’s National Palace. Built in 1928, it is located along Jalan Istana and the 13-acre castle used to be the official residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) of Malaysia. In June 2011, it was replaced by a new, extravagant RM800 million Istana Negara, Jalan Duta  in Kuala Lumpur. 

Malacañang Palace is the official residence of the President of the Philippines. It was originally built in 1802 but didn’t become an official presidential residence until 1935. It is located in the Malacañang Presidential Complex in Manila.

The Istana Singapore (总统府) is the official residence of the President of Singapore. However, the president doesn't actually sleep there. The official residence is only use for state functions and receiving dignitaries. It was built in 1867 by the British, but it only became the president's official residence in 1957. Istana Singapore is located along the “shopping haven" Orchard Road.

His Majesty the King of Thailand lives at the Chitrlada Palace in Bangkok. It is around 4km away from the Grand Palace. The Baan Phitsanulok is where the Prime Minister lives.

The Presidential Palace of Vietnam, located in the city of Hanoi, was built between 1900 and 1906 to house the French Governor-General of Indochina. It was constructed by Auguste Henri Vildieu, the official French architect for French Indochina.

Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get the official residence of the President of Myanmar. If you have some information about it, please share it with us. Thank you!


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