MIRI: A record crowd of about 45,000 people from all walks of life took part in the Miri Christmas Parade 2019 on Saturday (Dec 7) night.
The Saturday night parade through the streets saw Christians and non-Christians coming together to usher in Christmas festivities.
Miri mayor Adam Yii expressed his delight at the huge turnout for the parade.
"This Christmas Parade is an annual mega-event in this city.
"It is jointly organised by the Miri City Council and the Association of Churches Sarawak Miri branch.
"We are the only local council in Sarawak that jointly organises such an event with all the churches in Miri (from 15 Christian denominations).
"As the mayor and co-organising chairman of the parade, I am extremely proud to see a record crowd of about 45,000 today.
"I am very happy to see such a level of unity displayed by all Christians and people from other faiths in Miri.
"This multi-racial and multi-religious show of harmony is priceless and must be preserved at all costs," he said in his opening speech at the City Fan Garden before the parade.
Yii also took the opportunity to urge the 350,000 population of Miri to show unity of purpose too in stopping the annual wildfire scourge that has dented the image of Miri.
"We are a beautiful place but our image is being tarnished by people who cause massive air pollution through open burning.
"The haze caused by such wildfires in Miri has increased in intensity.
"We cannot blame neighbouring countries for the annual regional haze when we are also a source of the haze," he said.
Yii wished everyone a Merry Christmas and urged them to use the festive season to spread love among their family and in the society.
He also urged them to show compassion and care to the less fortunate in society and share the joy of Christmas with them.
The Christmas Parade saw volunteer groups from churches, bands and cultural troupes from schools and community bodies filling the streets with songs and music along the 10km route through the city centre.
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