Motif Rimau


Harimau Malaya (the Malayan tiger), more affectionately known locally as Tok Belang, plays a significant role in the country's national identity, symbolising courage and strength. It is featured on the country's coat of arms as well as becoming the namesake of the national football team. The image of Harimau Malaya can also be seen on stamps and Murut woven works (Inulos Mondou), among others.


The history of Harimau Malaya, or the Malayan tiger, is deeply intertwined with Malaysia's rich cultural and national identity. The tiger, symbolising courage and strength, was chosen to be part of the country's coat of arms, which was officially adopted in 1963. The decision to feature the tiger was not arbitrary; it was a deliberate choice to reflect the characteristics that the nation aspired to embody.

The iconic creature has become a beloved figure in Malaysian culture, earning the affectionate moniker Tok Belang. This nickname not only reflects the endearing connection that the people have with this majestic species but also adds a touch of familiarity to a symbol that carries great significance.

Harimau Malaya has left its paw prints across different facets of Malaysian life. The national football team adopted the moniker "Harimau Malaya," emphasising the qualities of courage and strength as they compete on the international stage. This connection with sports has further cemented the tiger's role as a rallying symbol for national pride.

Moreover, Harimau Malaya's image extends to more traditional forms of expression. The tiger graces stamps, becoming a visual representation on official postal materials. Additionally, in the intricate artistry of Murut woven works, such as Inulos Mondou, the Malayan tiger is woven into the fabric of indigenous craftsmanship, adding layers of cultural depth to its representation.

The Motif:

Harimau Malaya, the Malayan tiger, serves as an evocative and symbolic design motif deeply rooted in Malaysian culture. Its distinctive features, including bold stripes and a powerful stature, make it a compelling element for integration into various artistic expressions and designs. The motif, representing courage and strength, carries a sense of resilience and national pride, making it a versatile symbol for both traditional and contemporary designs. With its dynamic and regal aesthetics, the Harimau Malaya motif not only adds visual appeal but also communicates a profound connection to Malaysia's heritage and identity. Whether incorporated into textiles, illustrations, or decorative elements, this design choice resonates with the spirit and unity of the nation.

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