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Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday September 17, 2013 MYT 2:47:49 PM
by yu ji
Defenders: Members of the Armed Forces marching during the parade in Kuching. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE / The Star
KUCHING: Tens of thousands attended the 50th anniversary of Malaysia Day parade here, one of the largest ever held in Sarawak.
An estimated 20,000 people showed up for the show that began with a bang — literally — at 8am when a series of six cannons were fired.
One by one, the crack of the explosions reverberated from the historic Padang Merdeka across the meandering Sarawak River.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah opened the ceremony. His Majesty was accompanied by Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Hajah Haminah.
Also present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yas-sin. The VIP tents were also filled with members of the state Cabinet, military veterans and foreign dignitaries.
Between speeches, video clips on giant LED screens showed archival footage on the proclamation of Malaysia, which took place exactly 50 years ago at the same Padang. Video re-enactments also showed Sarawak during the White Rajah era, the Japanese occupation and the British colonial period.
“It is that good the Government has in the last few years acknowledged the significance of Sept 16,” said Lee Ya Yuen, a Johorean working in Sarawak.
“I know the significance because I live here. For most people in Peninsular Malaysia, I think they are just happy with another public holiday. I really do not think young people in Peninsular Malaysia know much about Malaysia Day.”
Similar large-scale celebrations should be held in Peninsular Malaysia, she said.
“This kind of celebration plays a role in educating people.”
State Tourism Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg told reporters that the parade involved 10,000
people, many of whom were students and civil servants, members of car enthusiasts clubs and uniformed bodies.
“I like to thank everyone here today and all the rest for making this celebration a success.
“Even last night when it rained on the Malaysia Day’s eve river float event, that did not seem to dampen the spirits of the crowd.”
The state government has designated the golden jubilee of Sarawak’s independence within Malaysia with the slogan, “Sarawak Hormoni, Kemakmuran Dinikmati,” (Harmony in Sarawak, Prosperity for All).
The parade yesterday capped of a series of golden jubilee events in Sarawak held since March.
Tags / Keywords:
East Malaysia, Family & Community, Malaysia Day, parade, Agong
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