THE Teluk Intan old town centre was abuzz with activities as hundreds of people gathered at the iconic Leaning Tower for the Purple Walk.
The 1km walk was organised by the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry in conjunction with International Women’s Day.
Flagged off by Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, the response for the walk was good, with many coming from all parts of the town.
“The last time I took part in this event was two years ago in Putrajaya.
“It is a great experience to be here and I am glad that many people are here as well to celebrate the occasion,” said Muhyiddin in his speech during the event yesterday.
In paying tribute to the women, he said they played vital roles in the country’s development.
“Women have proven themselves to be capable in helping to achieve a peaceful and prosperous society for the nation.
“They have displayed a strong sense of unity and determination towards nation-building,” he said.
On the upcoming Teluk Intan by-election, Muhyiddin expressed hope that the women will show their support for Barisan Nasional.
“On May 31, when it comes to voting, I hope that the women will show their support for the party,” he said.
Muhyiddin also received a pleasant surprise in the form of a birthday card, hand-made by 200 children from 16 homes in Perak.
He celebrated his 67th birthday on May 15.
The walk ended about half an hour later at Padang Bandaran Teluk Intan.
One of the participants of the walk, Tan Chang Zhi, 19, felt that the walk was a good opportunity to exercise.
“As a student I do not usually have the time to exercise as most of my time is spent on my studies.
“On weekends, I try to get more sleep and as such I found this event to be a meaningful one to me,”
Another participant, who just wanted to be known as Shangkari, 18, said she was happy to get up early to join in the walk.
“I feel that this is a meaningful event as different races can get together for a good cause.
“A big scale event such as this is also not common in Teluk Intan and I think that makes this even more commendable,” she said.
“My school has also given us the encouragement to take part today,” she added.
This year’s celebration is themed ‘Equality for Women is Progress for All’ and the theme colour is purple.
After the walk, Muhyiddin, who was accompanied by Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir, held a meet-the-people session at the Pak Ya Coffee Shop.
Barisan’s candidate for the by-election, Gerakan President Datuk Mah Siew Keong, who was campaigning nearby, also joined in the session.
The group also had a coincidental run-in with DAP candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud, in which polite handshakes were exchanged.
At the field, a “Citra Kanak-kanak” programme was also held for children.
About 280 children took part in various activities during the programme, which included a colouring contest and sporting events.
Winners from the colouring contest received prizes such as schoolbags and stationery, while the sporting event winners received hampers.