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Monday October 15, 2007

Day of fun and feasting


FESTIVITY was in the air as throngs of Malaysians of all races made their way to open houses all over Johor dressed in their celebratory finery. 

Thousands attended the official open house gathering hosted by Johor Sultan Iskandar Ibni Almarhum Sultan Ismail at the grounds of the Istana Besar. 

Greetings for everyone: A child greeting Sultan Iskandar at Istana Besar in Johor Baru.
Dressed in a light blue Baju Melayu, the Sultan shook hands with a long line of rakyat who had come to share the Hari Raya celebrations with the royal family.  

Long queues were also seen as members of the public along with state officials enjoyed a sumptuous feast at the palace grounds. 

Children had fun running around on the beautiful landscaped grounds before going home with Raya goodies. 

Festive joy: Guests enjoying a dragon dance performan ce at Istana Pasir Pelangi.
An old timer at the royal Raya celebrations was Rahmat Saat, 63, who said he and his family had been going to the Sultan’s open house almost every year for the past 25 years. 

“I like coming here because it makes me happy to be part of all the celebrations. After this, we’ll go home to welcome our own guests at our house,” he said. 

Tunku Mahkota Johor Tunku Ibrahim Ismail hosted his own open house after attending the celebrations at the Istana Besar. 

Crowds thronged Tunku Ibrahim’s residence at Istana Pasir Pelangi to share in the food and the festive atmosphere. 

Among those spotted tucking into servings of murtabak was Mohd Hafizuddin Md Roosly, 12, and his cousin Mohd Nasarudin Mohd Razali, 11, who said he loved Hari Raya because of all the delicious food. 

“We are skipping the rice since we get that all the time. Next, we’re going for some ice cream,” he said. 

Another visitor who brought her entire family including her one-month-old baby son was Tey Lee Hon, 30, who said she had been coming faithfully to Istana Pasir Pelangi for the past four years. 

Warm welcome: Tunku Ismail (right) watching guests greet his mother Raja Zarith Sofia, consort to Tunku Ibrahim at their residence in Istana Pasir Pelangi.
“We enjoy the crowds and the excitement,” she said 

At the Open House hosted by Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman, around 50,000 people from all walks of life celebrated Hari Raya with him. 

His wife, Datin Paduka Prof Dr Jamilah Ariffin and their daughter Juwita Edora, were with him to greet the guests.  

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