Truly unity in diversity

MIRI: Some 10,000 people celebrated the Prophet Muhammad’s birthday at the Miri Outdoor Stadium yesterday, marking it as the biggest event of such held here.

The state-level Maulidur Rasul celebration saw some 138 contingents from various associations, organisations and government agencies comprising of Muslims and non-Muslims participating in the parade — a sight that truly demonstrated the unity amongst the people in line with the theme this year — ‘Understanding the Basis for Unity of the Ummah’.

Leading the procession of over a 6km route from the stadium into the heart of the city were acting Head of State Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia and wife Datin Amar Fatimah Mohd Iskandar, Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and wife Puan Sri Ragad Kurdi Taib; as well as leaders and community heads from all over the state.

Dressed in colourful traditional Malay costumes of baju kurung, baju melayu and batik, the procession took about one-and-a-half hours to complete, beginning from Miri Outdoor Stadium passing through Bintang Road, Sylvia Road, Brooke Road, Kingsway Road, Padang Road (Taman Muhibbah), China Street, Bendahara Road, Kpg Wireless before returning to the stadium.

For most participants, parading around the city did not prove to be too difficult. However, for 70-year-old Kamsiah Murmin, she managed to finish the route, despite the pain in her leg.

“This my second time joining this parade. Just like my first time, I walked with my heart and faith for the Prophet. Although I’m no longer young, my strong will has helped my along the way,” said Kamsiah, who hails from Kampung Luak Baru, adding that she would continue to support the event in years to come.

Her daughter, Faridah Ulis, who was concerned for her mother’s health, were pleasantly surprised by her mother’s confidence and strong will, and had promised to support her mother for such event in the future.

Another senior citizen, Mahdi Tambi said it was his fifth time joining the Maulidur Rasul procession.

“Despite the hot weather, it is not difficult to walk the parade, provided there are friends and members of the ‘masjid’ who are supportive of one another during the walk.”

“Besides, it is not everyday that we get to walk around in the middle of the road, especially during day time,” said the 68-year-old from Permyjaya.

Apart from the procession, each contingent was also signed up for a competition, in which criteria included the size of each contingent and banner decorations that they brought along during the walk.

Miri Resident Office topped the government agencies category, winning a trophy and cash prizes while CIMB Bank and Masjid Darul Ibdah Kuala Baram scored in the private sector and mosque categories, respectively.

Meanwhile, the National Youth Skills Institute (IKBN) secured its win for the Institutions of Higher Learning category, beating other contingents with its creative banner.

In Primary and Secondary Schools categories, SK Lutong and SMK Agama Miri respectively took home cash prizes and a trophy each, while Tadika Sedidik Miri won the “tadika” (pre-school) category. Sri Islam Ber-satu Miri won the “hadrah” (Islamic choir and musical group) category.

The overall winner title, however, went to SMK Agama Miri and received a cash prize of RM1,000.

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