KOTA KINABALU: A unique performance depicting the deeds of the nation’s heroes came to the fore at the Malaysia Day celebrations at Padang Merdeka here.
The 40-minute performance saw some 1,000 youths, including primary and secondary students from across Sabah, taking centre stage before a packed crowd of people who overflowed onto the streets along the historic field.
Amid a carnival-like atmosphere, the young performers staged a skit re-enacting the actions of mountain guides who saved over a hundred trapped climbers when a magnitude-6 earthquake hit Mount Kinabalu on June 5.
Among those present were Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
Sarawak State Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nasar represented Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
Also present was Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Ali Hamsa and Sabah State Secretary Tan Sri Sukarti Wakiman.
Earlier, Juhar was presented with a Malaysia Day cake by 16 people of different ages born on Sept 16 – the date Malaysia was formed 52 years ago.
The leaders also signed a record book commemorating the 2015 Malaysia Day festivities.
In his speech, Najib assured Sabahans that the Federal Government was always listening to their needs due to the good federal-state relations.
He said the importance of both Sabah and Sarawak should not be understated in strengthening the nation.
The huge crowd was also entertained with performances by renowned Malaysian artistes, including rock queen Ella and Stacy AF6.
Groups began streaming in early in the afternoon with many wearing red T-shirts bearing the words “Sabah Sokong Datuk Seri Najib” and “Sabah Loves Najib” as they were entertained with modern and traditional music and multi-ethnic dances.
A 20-minute firework show marked the end of the celebration.