Few glitches during final dry run

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 18 Feb 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: The final dry run for the 13th Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit went on yesterday with minimal glitches and gave a peek into the opening ceremony, which showcases Malaysia's rich culture.  

Girls dressed up in various costumes of all races in the country took their place on both sides of the red carpet to greet the 114 liaison officers from various ministries and government agencies, who stood in as the heads of government, state and delegates. 

The red carpet walk by the “leaders” proceeded as scheduled as they entered the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) and shook hands with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad for a photo opportunity. 

They waited in the holding area and later escorted by women carrying flags of their respective member countries, continued to Dewan Merdeka, where the opening ceremony would be held on Monday.  

GIVING FEEDBACK: Dr Mahathir talking to Ahmad Fuzi (facing him) about the right way to usher NAM leaders after witnessing the full rehearsal for the summit at the PWTC Monday.

“Malay warriors” were stationed just outside the hall to greet the “leaders.” 

Once in the hall, the practice for the opening ceremony went on, which included the singing of the 13th NAM Summit theme song, “NAM Shall Lead The Way.”  

During the three hour-dry run, Dr Mahathir was seen thoroughly going over every aspect such as the walk-in by the “leaders,” even stopping the practice to correct them.  

Taking him through the dry run were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar, secretary general Datuk Ahmad Fuzi Razak and Putrade Property Management Sdn Bhd chief executive officer Datuk Yaakob Mohammad. 

His wife Datin Seri Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali was present as well.  

Later at a press conference, Dr Mahathir said there were minor details that needed ironing out. 

“I think we need to do a little bit more practice,” he said. 

When asked about whether the motorcade to transport leaders to PWTC had perfect timing or needed fine tuning, he said: 

“I don’t know. I didn’t see the motorcade outside. The 114 vehicles of heads and government entered exactly on time. We finished exactly as planned.” 

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