KUALA LUMPUR: A boisterous crowd of tens of thousands stood as one as they gathered at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil for the 55th Merdeka Day celebrations.
The stadium was filled to the brim last night while outside the venue, there was a carnival with various stage performances.
There were also food and drinks for sale at various points.
Crowds gathered several hours before the performance-packed 55th Merdeka Gathering: Promises Fulfilled, which started at 8.15pm.
They cheered loudly and excitedly waved the Jalur Gemilang throughout the event, which went late into the night and ended with a spectacular fireworks display.
The crowd was treated to a variety of performances including by the younger generation, popular artistes such as Faizal Tahir and Ella as well as dikir barat and the IM4U flash mob.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor were greeted with loud cheers as they entered the stadium.
They proceeded to lead the country's leaders and Generation Y participants on a 380m unity walk before proceeding to the centre of the stadium where the main revolving stage was located.
Najib and Rosmah also mingled with the crowd in and outside the stadium.
The Prime Minister also led the crowd in shouts of “Merdeka”.
The Tweet Up Merdeka, which was one of the main highlights of last night, proved to be a resounding success.
Those who gathered cheered when Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim announced that two new records were achieved.
One record was a total of 3.6 million tweets received nationwide from 8.15pm to 9.15pm via the #Merdeka55.
It surpassed the targeted one million tweets.
The other record was the gathering of 10,000 Twitter users in the stadium as there were a total of 10,128 of them.
Malaysia's diving queen Pandelela Rinong Pamg and singing sensation Yuna also attended the event to receive the Special Award for Outstanding Achievements from Najib.
Among the other six winners were two-time Olympic silver medallist Datuk Lee Chong Wei and squash star Datuk Nicol David.
Other awards were the Desa Sejahtera award, which gave grants to rural housing projects, and the Rural Business Challenge which recognised innovative projects for businesses catered to rural areas.
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