IPOH: Thousands lined Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab in front of City Hall here Wednesday (Aug 31) morning to watch Perak's state-level National Day parade.
Perakians from all walks of life came together to show their Merdeka spirit with the podiums and curbs quickly filled by those keen to get the best view.
The crowd began waving their flags when they spotted the royal guard escorting Perak Ruler Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah and Raja Permaisuri Perak Tuanku Zara Salim as well as other dignitaries to the parade grounds at around 8am.
Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad was among those present to welcome the royal entourage.
The celebrations began with Sultan Nazrin Shah inspecting the guard of honour by the Second Division of the Regiment of Royal Engineers, followed by the hoisting of the national flag as Negaraku was sung.
A total of 95 contingents representing schools, uniformed bodies, government agencies, private companies and non-governmental organisations took part in the event.
Participants marched from Ipoh Padang to the grandstand in front of City Hall as they saluted the guests of honour.
The parade was led by a contingent from the Armed Forces, followed by flag bearers, school marching bands, the Royal Malaysia Police, the navy and district officers.
In his speech, Saarani said it was important to appreciate the sacrifices of all Malaysians regardless of race and religion who are fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic.
He said appreciation should also be given to the security forces and all frontline officers who protected the people at all times.
“We need to keep in mind that the freedom we regained today is not permanent. The battle against the deadly virus is a war without a truce. New cases can come suddenly," he said.
“A wave of infection can (appear) unexpectedly. The appearance of a new variant can hit in the blink of an eye,” added Saarani.
Saarani added that the Ukraine-Russia conflict had also made the global economic situation difficult.
“The increasingly critical food and energy supply crisis has pushed up the rate of inflation and the prices of essential goods.
“This is not easy for the world, not easy for Malaysia and certainly not easy for Perak,” he added.
Saarani said thanks to the continuous guidance from His Majesty, all members of the administration are actively working and planning to deal with future challenges including strengthening food security.