Bunga Raya or Hibuscus was chosen by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Malaysian Prime Minister as the National Flower of Malaysian in 1960.
The species of Malaysia's Bunga Raya is Hibiscus Rosa Sintesis which is quite a simple variety, red in colour (representing courage) and five petals (representing Malaysia's Rukun Negara or Pilars of the Nation). The five pilars are:
- Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan (Belief in God);
- Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara (Loyalty to King and Country)
- Keluhuran Perlembagaan (Supremacy of the Constitution)
- Kedaulatan Undang-undang (Rule of Law)
- Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan (Mutual Respect and Morality)
Now, found in abundance, the first flower arrived in Malaysia from Far East before the 12th century.
Among the benefits of the Bunga Raya are:
- Roots can be used to cure fever;
- Juice from the leaves and roots can relieve skin eruptions and grandular troubles;
- Petals are used as cosmetic to darken and highlight women eyebrows;
- Petals and leaves can be used to facilitate hair growth and blackness (esp. for Asian hair which is generally black)