SHAH ALAM: In a historic first, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong – the head of state and the nation’s symbol of unity – walked alongside thousands of Malaysians in the #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk in a show of love for the nation on Merdeka Day.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah graced the event and joined in after flagging off the #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk at Eco Ardence Sales Gallery in Setia Alam here yesterday.
Sultan Abdullah’s presence reflected His Majesty’s commitment in promoting patriotic activities for our beloved country that involved the participation of those from multicultural backgrounds, said Istana Negara in an official statement.
“As the head of state and the nation’s symbol of unity, His Majesty’s presence at the event also underlines his pledge to uphold, strengthen and preserve harmony and solidarity, as well as unify people of the various races and religions in the country, ” said Istana Negara.Sultan Abdullah arrived at about 4.45pm to a roaring welcome from the multiracial participants, who started gathering at the venue as early as 2.30pm on a sunny National Day to enjoy the carnival-like atmosphere of the event.
After a welcoming remark by #AnakAnakMalaysia organising chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, His Majesty then sounded an air horn to signal the start of the 5.5km walk which was aimed at promoting diversity and unity.
Accompanied by several ministers and notable guests, His Majesty caused a buzz of excitement among participants, who were eager to have the King walking with them.
Accompanying Sultan Abdullah on the walk were Economic Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, Federal Territories Minister and Shah Alam MP Khalid Samad as well as Selangor Mentri Besar Amirudin Shari.
Lee said the #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk, which is now in its fifth year running, managed to gather about 10,000 participants and he hoped the annual event would continue to bring Malaysians together.
“We are very honoured to have the Yang di-Pertuan Agong gracing the occasion and also several ministers with us at this year’s #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk.
“What’s important about the event is that it provides an opportunity for Malaysians of all races and creed to get together to commemorate the 62nd anniversary of Malaysia’s independence.
“We are using this occasion to rally all Malaysians behind the country because we need to stress moderation and for Malaysians to be strong advocates of unity in diversity, ” he said.
Lee added that the event provided a platform for the corporate sector to play its role as responsible corporate citizens to promote unity and moderation in the country.
Star Media Group chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow described the presence of the King as a great honour and encouragement to the organisers to continue holding the #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk every year.“His Majesty is so popular among the people. Everyone wanted to be close to him and take pictures with him. We are very thankful to His Majesty for gracing the event.
“The #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk is a symbol of Malaysia and it means all Malaysians coming together to show unity and togetherness.
“This year’s event is special as it is organised on the auspicious day of Merdeka and we can see that Malaysians from all walks of life coming together to celebrate, ” said Fu.Also present were Eco World Development Group Bhd chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin, Eco World Development Group Bhd president and CEO Datuk Chang Khim Wah and CIMB Group Holdings Bhd group CEO and executive director Tengku Datuk Seri Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz.
Star Media Group representatives include group CEO Andreas Vogiatzakis, chief content officer Esther Ng, chief revenue officer Lydia Wang and group adviser Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.
Representatives from the sponsors included Panasonic Malaysia marketing innovation department general manager Chew Keng Heng and DRB-Hicom Bhd group strategic communications head Mahmood Abdul Razak.
The #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk 2019 is a collaboration between Malaysia’s well-known property developer Eco World Development Group Bhd and Star Media Group.
The main sponsors for the event are Panasonic (silver sponsor) and DRB-Hicom (car sponsor).