PUTRAJAYA: After 13 years, the National Day celebration will once again be held at the administrative capital of Putrajaya.
The 61st National Day celebration will go down in history as the first ever held under the Pakatan Harapan government, led by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who became the seventh Prime Minister at 93.
Dr Mahathir was the fourth prime minister from July 16, 1981 to Oct 31, 2003.
Putrajaya was the brainchild of Dr Mahathir, and as such its selection as this year’s venue adds a certain meaning to the celebration.
The area was originally known as Prang Besar before it was developed into the administrative capital in 1995.
The National Day celebration has been held in Putrajaya only twice before this – once in 2003 and again in 2005.
“Malaysians are riding high on the Malaysia Baru (New Malaysia) spirit, so this year’s National Day celebration is one that is anticipated by many,” said Putrajaya Corporation (PPj) corporate communications director Tengku Aina Tengku Ismail Shah.
PPj has put up 2,000 flags along the main roads in Putrajaya since mid-August and has also distributed some 3,000 flags among Putrajaya residents.
PPj has been put in charge of handling the logistics for the National Day parade and has begun preparations for the event as early as June, said Tengku Aina.
“We believe around 300,000 people will be coming to Putrajaya for the celebration on Aug 31,” she added.
She advised those intending to join the celebration to arrive before 7am to avoid being stuck in traffic jams as several roads would be closed to make way for the event.
The roads affected include Laman Perdana, Persiaran Perdana, Lebuh Wawasan, Lebuh Saujana, Lebuh Bestari, Lebuh Setia, Jalan Perpaduan, Jambatan Wawasan, Jalan Pembangunan, Jalan Kemerdekaan and Jalan T.A. Rahman.
Around 6,000 parking bays are provided for visitors and shuttle bus services are also available to ferry visitors from Putrajaya Sentral to the celebration venue.
This year’s parade will involve 12,714 participants, 25 dogs, 60 horses, 251 land assets and 54 air assets from the police, the Malaysian Armed Forces and other agencies.
The contingents will march 3.2km along Persiaran Perdana from 8am.
The Kembara Merdeka Jalur Gemilang 2018 convoy, which was flagged off by Dr Mahathir in Padang Kota Lama, Penang on Aug 4, will also be arriving at Dataran Putrajaya tomorrow.
The convoy, comprising 133 participants and 52 vehicles, is touring across Malaysia.
Themed SayangiMalaysiaku (Love My Malaysia), the 2018 National Day celebration in Putrajaya will be graced by the presence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V. — Bernama