KUALA LUMPUR: The Umno general assembly began yesterday with party president Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad raising the party flag at Dataran Putra World Trade Centre here.
Upon arriving at 8.50am, Dr Mahathir, who was accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, was welcomed to the beating of the rebana ubi and kompang.
An aircraft carrying a banner with the words “Umno: Perjuangan Sebuah Bangsa” hovered above.
Wanita chief Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, Youth leader Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein and Puteri head Azalina Othman Said then accompanied Dr Mahathir to inspect the guard-of-honour mounted by Kapt Suznan Saad and 57 members from each of the party’s three wings.
Later, Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob accompanied Dr Mahathir to the stage to join deputy president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and party executive secretary Datuk Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor in the flag-raising ceremony.
A choir consisting of 200 students from various schools in the Klang Valley sang the party songs Bersatu Bersetia Berkhidmat and Umno Teras Negara.
After the ceremony, Dr Mahathir, supreme council members and other leaders proceeded into Dewan Merdeka for the 54th general assembly.
On Tuesday evening, Abdullah opened the Pemuda, Wanita and Puteri assemblies simultaneously. The three wings held their assemblies the following day.
The PWTC has been a hive of activities.
After all, this is the gathering of the country’s largest party. And the event so far has witnessed much laughter and tears.
It is especially significant since this is the last assembly with Dr Mahathir as party president.
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