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Proof of loyalty:
Three staff who serve The Federal Hotel more than 3 decades

A Supayah, maintenance manager

At 66, A Supayah, dressed smartly in his bush jacket, still struts around The Federal Hotel Kuala Lumpur making sure nothing hampers operations.

He is a man of few words but thoughts of how his family also grew up with his job at the hotel brought a smile to his face. “I have two children, a son aged 36, works as a Safety Manager and a daughter 34 is a doctor,” he proudly declared.

“Both my children’s wedding dinners were held at the ballroom of The Federal Hotel. It was like a celebration with one big family. My colleagues here helped with the preparations and entertained the guests,” said Supayah in explaining the reason for his long service.

A young Supayah walked into The Federal Hotel when he was 18 on a friend’s recommendation. During that time, recommendation from a friend who worked in the hotel is a good enough testimony of one’s worthiness for hire.

Soon after a brief interview Supayah began work as a general apprentice and worked diligently up the ladder to become assistant supervisor in 1971.

A Supayah, 66, maintenance manager

“I was a trainee plumber in the 1970s. On one occasion when I was fixing the toilet on the first floor, I looked up and saw the late Tan Sri Low Yat standing there watching me. He told me “Tamby, ini barang jangan kasi pecah (Brother, don’t break this thing!)’ I was so shocked I said no, no I will fix it.”

That was Supayah’s lasting memory of his boss Tan Sri Low Yat, the late Chairman of Low Yat Group. When Tan Sri Low Yat’s son Tan Sri Low Yow Chuan took over the helm, he too were frequently seen on the floor of the hotel.

“I have worked for 3 generations and a 4th is coming on board,” Supayah who walked through the doors of The Federal Hotel believing that he was working for the best hotel in town. He will carry this feeling when he finally walks out into retirement.

Ng Eng Sang, 64, Driver

“IF they were to give medals for long service, I think I will receive a bronze one,” Eng Sang laughs as he proudly declares his service of 42 years at The Federal Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

When he was 22, like most of the colleagues, he came to work for The Federal Hotel on a friend’s recommendation. He was hired as a driver to transport the Aeroflot airline crew to and from the airport.

“They were not well to do, they couldn’t give me tips but they brought me souvenirs. I remember how they used to tell me to turn down the air conditioner in the van. I was surprised that coming from a cold country like Russian they should be able to withstand the cold,” Eng Sang quips.

He also holds good memories of the football teams who used to stay in The Federal Hotel during Merdeka Cup tournaments. Eng Sang looked forward to the celebratory atmosphere in the hotel when the national team and various foreign teams stayed there each year.

But what Eng Sang, who is unmarried, truly holds dear to his heart is how caring his ‘family’ at The Federal Hotel is and he appreciates the generosity of the management who provides him three meals a day.

As such he doesn’t feel the stress even when he has to work beyond the stipulated 8 hours.

Ng Eng Sang, 64, Driver

At 54, Razak is considered the youngest amongst the group veterans. Even so, he has already served 31 years in the maintenance section of the hotel.

He used to work at a factory until his neighbour in Kuala Selangor recommended him a job at a prestigious hotel – The Federal Hotel in Kuala Lumpur. And he has not looked back since.

Abdul Razak Musa, 54, Maintenance

Razak is appreciative and proud that he is working for an establishment that was declared open by the first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman. And he makes sure his 3 children are aware of this.

“I have worked a long time here because people are generally cooperative and we don’t fight with one another. We talk through our problems,” Razak said he would continue to serve at the hotel for as long as he can work.

The Federal Kuala Lumpur Timeline



  • The Federal Hotel was the brainchild and vision of the late Tan Sri Low Yat, who had the foresight to build for our nation, a new multimillion-dollar international class hotel at that time, to specifically provide accommodation for all the distinguished guests and foreign dignitaries attending the historic day and celebration of Malaya’s independence.
  • The Federal Kuala Lumpur, the Hotel for Merdeka, opened her doors on 28 August 1957 and had the privilege to bear witness to Malaysia’s declaration of independence on 31 August 1957.  The 90-room 9-storey structure was then one of the tallest buildings in the city and the opening was officiated by the first Prime Minister of Malaya, Y.T.M. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al Haj.  On the eve of Merdeka Day, an official reception was held at the Banquet Room, attended by 175 local and foreign guests.  From the moment at the venue of choice for many government functions, events and meetings, and thus the birth of our renowned hospitality and service known around the world to this day.
  • The first resident to register as a guest at The Federal Hotel was Bunny (Ms Nancy Simmons, a government driver in London who chauffeured Tunku around during his negotiation talks for Malaya’s Independence in London).
  • The second guest registered at The Federal Hotel was Tan Sri Datuk Dr Haji Yahaya Ibrahim.  He was then one of those young Malayan civil servants assigned as a protocol officer to take charge of the 12-man Japanese delegation representing their government at the Merdeka celebrations at Stadium Merdeka on 31 August 1957.


    • “In 1959, Prime Minister of Australia, Sir Robert Menzies visited The Federal Hotel during his visit to Kuala Lumpur together with his delegation’ recalled Frank Murray, the former Australia High Commission in Kuala Lumpur.


    • Federal Hotel Extension behind the original 10-storey designed by Japanese architect, Yozoshipada was completed in 1963 with a revolutionary Revolving Bintang Restaurant located on the 18th
    • Another 300 rooms were made available making a total of 450 rooms. The Federal Hotel then had added more facilities for the convenience of Hotel guests, Coffee House & Bar, Piano Bar, Coral Bar, Mandarin Palace (night club), Kontiki Restaurant poolside), Bintang Revolving Lounge, Federal Bowl (the country’s largest bowling alley), Federal Health Club, Laundry & Valet services, several of these features were previously unknown in Malaysia’s hotel history.
    • Federal Hotel became the home for British movie crew while filming The Seventh Dawn and the Durian Tree starring by international actors and actresses namely William Holden, Capucine, Suzannah York, Michael Goodlife and Tetsura Tamba, which was released in 1964.
    • Sir Robert Menzies, former Australian Prime Minister also stayed at the Federal Hotel as did Sir Malcolm MacDonald who occupies an important place in Malaysian history owing to his involvement in the making of the Federation of Malaya (the prelude to independent Malaya) which was inaugurated on 1 February 1948.
    • Other dignitaries who frequently used The Federal Hotel’s facilities included the late Tun Dato’ Mustapha, Federal Ministers such as Mohd Khir Johari (the late Tan Sri); and the late Tan Sri Dato’ Dr Haji Abdul Majid Ismail.
    • From that moment on, the Federal Hotel became the choice for renowned personalities who came over to Kuala Lumpur. Among them are Pulitzer Prize winner, James A Michener, former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Muhammad Ali, Jose Frazer, author of South Pacific and his wife Mari Yoriko Sabusawa.


    • The Big Fight in 1973 – Former World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Mohammad Ali and Joe Bugner were guests of the Federal Hotel


    • 28 August 1985, Tan Sri Dato’ Low Yow Chuan launched the Hotel Management Company, Federal Hotels International (FHI) (to replace Federal Hotels Management Services established on 16 August 1961) together with its FHI Corporate Logo.
    • The late Y.T.M. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj was invited to launch Federal Hotels International (FHI) & the new FHI Corporate Logo on 28 August 1985.
    • Hong Kong TVB Stars namely Kenneth Tsang Kong, Meg Lam Kin-ming, Lau Dan, Rebecca Chan Sau-Chu and Simon Yam Tat-Wah were guests at the Skyroom on New Year’s Eve Celebrations.
    • American Pop Singer, Johnny Tillotson performed at the Skyroom on Christmas Eve on 24 December 1987.


      • 3-Phase expansion and renovation programme to provide and further upgrade it to an international deluxe standard be completed over 5 years.
      • First phase – intensive renovation of the original 10-storey building which was completed in 1990, and the entire block was renamed as Merdeka Wing with 150 rooms and 4 suites.
      • Second phase began in November 1991 and completed in May 1992. The Hotel then had new mini computers from Hewlett Packard, Sanctuary Café & Bar and an all-glass exterior at the Hotel front thus completely changing the façade of the Hotel.


      • The late YABhg Datin Paduka Endon Mahmood graced the occasion of the Merdeka Fund Raising Charity Gala Dinner to commemorate the Federal Hotel’s 46th Anniversary Celebrations on 28 August 2003.
      • Favourite Dishes from Tunku’s Kitchen Cookbook was launched by the former Minister of Tourism, YB Datuk Dr Leo Michael Toyad on 29 September 2005.
      • Hidangan Kegemaran dari Dapur Tunku (the Favourite Dishes from the Tunku’s Kitchen cookbook) was launched together with FHI Merdeka Charity Event by the former Deputy Director General of Tourism Malaysia, Datin Dalilah Ahmad on 24 August 2006.
      • The Federal Hotel as at 2007 entered the grand golden era with a complete makeover to ensure total guest comfort while retaining the old world charm and traditions that has made the Federal Hotel so special. The Federal Hotel comprised 3 sections – the original 10-storey Merdeka Wing, the 21-storey Federal Tower, and the complex which housed the swimming pool, ballroom and banquet hall as well as the former Federal Bowling Alley.
      • New York based Malaysian designer, Zang Toi designed limited-edition bags to commemorate The Federal Kuala Lumpur’s 50th Anniversary Celebrations, launched by the 13th Yang Di-Pertuan Agong of Malaysia, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah at Bintang Revolving Restaurant (now known as Bintang Lounge & Restaurant) on 21 August 2007.
      • To commemorate the 50th Anniversary Celebrations, Federal Hotels International (FHI) & The Federal Kuala Lumpur (The Hotel for Merdeka) together with Malaysia Airlines (as part of MAS Let’s Fly Malaysia Campaign) & LSG Sky Chefs Brahim, were proud to present the Merdeka Inflight Dining Experience with Favourite Dishes from the Tunku’s Kitchen on board Malaysia Airlines (on all classes) from 1 August until 30 September 2007 on selected routes to Europe, Australia and New Zealand regional & domestic (Sabah and Sarawak) routes.
      • The 5th Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Tun Jeanne Abdullah graced the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of The Federal Kuala Lumpur on 28 August 2007.
      • Datuk Lee Chong Wei (Malaysia No. 1 badminton singles shutter) and Tan Boon Heong (former World No. 1 Malaysian badminton player in the men’s doubles) attended the Proton Malaysian Open Super Series 2007 Welcome Dinner on 16 January 2007.


      • Former Deputy Minister of Federal Territories, YB Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan (5th from right) graced the launch of The Merdeka Wing and The Verandah on 24 November 2015 at The Verandah- another unique new revolution unveiled by The Federal Kuala Lumpur with the official opening of the Merdeka Wing and The Verandah – Celebrate, Stay, Dine and be entertained!
      • The Federal Kuala Lumpur celebrated her 60th Anniversary Celebrations on 28 August 2017 with meaningful activities lined up on our Calendar of Events:
      • The Federal Kuala Lumpur played host for one of the SEA Games Team Contingents, the Myanmar Team during the KL SEA Games 2017.
      • Modern Grand Hotel – A Story Telling musical concert held on Friday, 8 September to Saturday, 9 September and Friday, 15 September to Sunday, 17 September 2017
      • Official Hotel of the Hands Percussion 20th Anniversary Concerts namely Percussion Paradise and Inner Voices which is part of DiverseCity’s KL International Arts Festival (KLIAD) 2017
      • The Federal Kuala Lumpur joined hands together with its sister hotels namely Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur and The Grace Sydney launched the Anniversary Indulgence room package.
      • The Federal’s Fun with 60 creative photos social media contest.
      • HE Mr Andrew Goledzinowski graced the Inaugural Launch of Discover Australia – A Taste of Australia at The Federal Kuala Lumpur from 13 July – 29 July 2018. Discover Australia – A Taste of Australia food festival was jointly organized by Federal Hotels International (FHI) together with its FHI Hotels in Kuala Lumpur and Sydney Namely The Federal Kuala Lumpur and The Grace Hotel Sydney, with the support from the Australian High Commission, AUSTRADE, Tourism Australia and MLA Meat & Livestock Australia and Citibank.

      Today’s Grand Dame of Kuala Lumpur

      • The Federal Kuala Lumpur has renovated its Merdeka Wing Rooms, Ballrooms, Kontiki Restaurant and the brand new lobby lounge, The Verandah.
      • The Federal recently unveiled stylish new looks and introduced new facilities showcasing our FHI Group’s philosophy of creating an effortless experience and venues that allow guests the time and space to focus on and make the most of what is important to them, includes guestrooms, meeting spaces, innovative restaurants and lounge, to enhance their stay with us, as our guests are our best ambassadors.
      • The Federal Kuala Lumpur’s newly renovated Merdeka Wing Rooms, with a super comfortable bed, plus down duvet, bathroom and a rain shower, quality amenities plus exclusive privileges, are designed with pleasure and convenience in mind.

      Federal Hotels International (FHI) has over six decades of experience in the Malaysian hospitality industry. FHI is the pioneer Malaysian Hotel Management Company, established in 1957, to manage the first international hotel in Kuala Lumpur – The Federal Kuala Lumpur – that opened its doors on 28 August 1957. Today, FHI manages The Federal Kuala Lumpur, Hotel Capitol Kuala Lumpur, The Grace Hotel Sydney and Tribeca Serviced Suites Bukit Bintang.