Once Malaysia achieved independence in 1957, Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra AI-Haj expressed a desire to find a suitable flower to declared as the National flower for Federation of Malaya. Thus, he has directed the Ministry of Agriculture to find the flowers in the country to be selected as the national flower. After a thorough search for a while and ended at the end of 1958, the Ministry of Agriculture highlighted the seven types of flowers kenanga, hibiscus, melor, lotus, rose, cempaka and tanjung (sorry, I don't know their name in english).
From all the flowers chosen, hibiscus has been officially announced as the national flower of the Federation of Malaya on 28 July 1960 by Prime Minister of Malaysia. The selection was made based on the uniqueness of the self-interest than other flowers.The red hibiscus flower was seen as a symbol of political and economic strength and courage of the people in the nature of challenges. Meanwhile, the five petals are means of five Fundamental principles. Hibiscus also has a lot of color, shape and size reflect the different races, religions and cultures of the various races living in peace and harmony.
The Malaysian flag with its 14 alternate red and white horizontal stripes representing the 14 states including the Federal Territory as well as a crescent and eleven point star superimposed in yellow inside a blue quarter was officially named the Jalur Gemilang by the then Prime Minister Datuk Seri (Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad on Aug 31, 1997 in conjunction with the nation's 40th anniversary of independence. Jalur Gemilang combines the Malay word "Jalur" which means stripes or range of values while "Gemilang" signified glory, the Jalur Gemilang is a symbol of national identity that encompasses the 1Malaysia concept.
One of the main reason is that tiger symbolize power and strength. Tiger is one of the earliest animal found in federations of Malaya. You can also found a pair of tiger flank on Malaysia coat of arms, this is as a symbol of Malaysia in the sphere and always ready.