PEKAN: Some 50,000 people from all walks of life thronged the Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Taman Tasik Sultan Abu Bakar here on Saturday.
The programme was supposed to be held earlier but due to recent unforeseen happenings, was delayed until the last week of the festive period of Syawal.
As early as 8am, scores of people – both locals and outsiders – made a beeline to the strategic venue.
Business were brisk as many petty traders selling toys, souvenirs and accessories, as well as telecommunication firms took the opportunity to set up booths to entice the crowd.
Food caterers, numbering 149 stalls, were up early, preparing their specialities in anticipation of the huge number of people.
Among the dishes include laksa Pahang, lemang, nasi briyani, nasi minyak, nasi himpit, grilled lamb, sup kicap, cendol, fruit juices and a variety of pastries, cakes and festive cookies.
Najib arrived in an entourage before he was mobbed by the people lining on both sides of the road.
He then made his way to the stage where Kadi Pekan Ahmad Nizam Abdul Manan conducted a prayer in memory of the victims of the downed MH17 flight, followed by the presentation of aid to over 100 recipients, including several orang asli, who would be performing their pilgrimage.
Najib, who is the Pekan MP, credited the elected people’s representatives and other community leaders for their services in enabling Pekan folks to be among the most happiest in the country.
The latest National Happiness Index survey conducted nationwide and released recently, put residents in the Pekan district on the third spot.
Before taking his seat, Najib went around the venue to greet the people and serve some of them with the prepared delicacies.
Najib’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor arrived shortly to join in the feast, after attending a separate event, followed by Tengku Mahkota Pahang Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah and his consort Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar.
Later, festive cookies and souvenirs were distributed to the people while the children received duit raya with glee.