PUTRAJAYA: A line from a song made popular by the late Datuk Sudirman Arshad has been picked as the theme for this year’s national Merdeka celebrations.
The theme – Malaysia, Di Sini Lahirnya Sebuah Cinta – was lifted from the patriotic song, Warisan, which seeks to instil and express love for the country in conjunction with the 57th Independence Day.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek said the theme bore deep meaning despite its simple presentation.
“It doesn’t matter the differences in our background as every one of us loved this place that we have grown up in. Even many outsiders, who have come to Malaysia, fell in love with this place.
“It’s like how we would love our child, we will take care of it (the country) and protect it from all forms of threat,” Ahmad Shabery said to reporters at the pre-launch of the celebrations here yesterday.
The month-long celebrations are set to kick off with a national yassin recitation and the prayers are expected to draw thousands to Masjid Putra in Putrajaya on Aug 15.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is scheduled to launch the annual campaign to fly the Jalur Gemilang on the same day.
Three concerts will be held on different occasions in the same month, including the Konsert Harmoni dan Uniti at Dataran Merdeka (Aug 23 and Aug 24) and the three-night Chow Kit Road 2.0 concert at Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman from Aug 29.
Najib is slated to join the Merdeka eve countdown at the Ambang Merdeka concert, which will be held in Kuala Lumpur.
This will be followed by the Independence Day parade at Dataran Merdeka on the morning of Aug 31.
The Merdeka celebrations will culminate with the commemoration of Malaysia Day on Sept 16, which will be held in Sarawak.
“We want Merdeka to be seen as a form of branding that will stick by our hearts, as it rightfully should,” said Ahmad Shabery.