THE Selangor-level National Day celebrations had all the right ingredients to rouse the patriotic spirit through colourful parades, marching bands and breathtaking displays of valour by the police, Armed Forces and firefighters.
The lighting system was awesome, the sound engineer in charge had once worked with a production team for Mariah Carey’s concert in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari came dressed in an army uniform as he was conferred Brigadier-General in the army for his role as patron of the Selangor Territorial Army Support Committee.
In his speech, Amirudin quoted German philosopher Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, saying for every time and age there would be a struggle which needed to be upheld.
“In the 62 years of independence, history has unfolded to reveal our fight for freedom from colonisation.
“Such battles were fought on the belief that we were capable of administering and governing our own country.
“If our freedom fighters did not have this confidence then, we would have remained as a colony, ” he said.
But now that the country is free, he pointed out that fresh challenges had arisen from outside and within to stir up conflict.
He reminded the multiracial rakyat on the need to exercise tolerance, respect and band together as well as be understanding of each other’s differences.
“As we move forward, we must ask ourselves what we can look forward to in the next 62 years.
“We should not only aim for progress, to be free of poverty and a better economy but also aim to rid corruption and embezzlement, elements that have destroyed empires and entire countries, ” he said, and stressed that it was crucial that everyone learned from past mistakes.
State government management services secretary Muhammad Shah Osmin, who organised the event, said that this year’s
celebration was special as there was a change in format.
“We presented a pantomime to depict the struggle for Selangor’s freedom, performed by secondary school students and Universiti Selangor.
“To close the parade, 1,000 secondary school students embodied this year’s National Day celebration theme ‘Sayangi Malaysiaku: Malaysiaku Bersih’ as symbolic of a new generation that will lead the country with integrity in the future, ” he said.
Among the many who turned up for the event at Dataran Kemerdekaan Shah Alam were students Lim Yan Xiang and Yap Hao Xuan who were there to support their school marching bands.
Yan Xiang came with his parents, Lim Tzyh Chong and Thong Choon Lai, to join in the countdown.
Hao Xuan said he hoped all Malaysians would come together and help the country grow.
Mohd Fahmy Mohd Kassim, a traffic safety officer with Kemuning-Shah Alam Highway, said such events were good for raising the patriotic spirit and instilling harmony.
He believes Malaysians will preserve
and cherish their multiracial identity for posterity.
“People may try to separate us, but as Malaysians, we will always stick together, ” said Fahmy.