Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Malaysians celebrate 53rd Merdeka with patriotism











KUALA LUMPUR: It was a sight to behold and a moment to cherish as intense patriotic spirit rose into the air as thousands of people joined leaders for the 53rd National Day celebration at the Putra Stadium indoor arena in Bukit Jalil, here.

The celebration, themed "1Malaysia Transforming the Nation", the first to be held indoor, was marked by colourful performances, a 14-gun salute, reading of pledge and awe-inspiring displays of grit and courage by the country's security forces.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin and Raja Permaisuri Agong Tuanku Nur Zahirah arrived at the venue at 8am to the sound of trumpets and thunderous applause from the 10,000 people at the stadium.

Present were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and wife Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman, former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and cabinet ministers, donning the specially-crafted 1Malaysia batik.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong's arrival marked the start of the 90-minute celebration at the stadium which has been the venue for many prestigious events either sports or entertainment.

They were earlier greeted by 940 contingent members comprising 500 National Service trainees and 440 students of the National Institute of Public Administration (Intan) who lined up both sides of the road leading up to the venue.

On arrival, His Majesty received the salute from four officers and 107 members of the First Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment, followed by the singing of the national anthem, Negaraku.

Tuanku Mizan also inspected the guard-of-honour mounted by the battalion, with the spectators, many of them children, waving the national flag, Jalur Gemilang.

The stadium erupted in patriotic fervour as seven shouts of "Merdeka" reverberated up and around and through the hallways of the arena, followed by the shouts of the slogan "1Malaysia, Rakyat Didahulukan, Pencapaian Diutamakan" (1Malaysia, People First, Performance Now).

As the rush of patriotic spirit was peaking, the celebration took a heart-warming turn with the 1Malaysia special performance featuring eight segments including story-telling which incorporated the display of lights, choir performance and creative human formation to convey the 1Malaysia message.

The 1Malaysia segment, among others, showcased pictures of the country's first Prime Minister, dubbed Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, as well as those of the first Yang di-Pertuan Agong until the current 13th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, and photographs of the country's Prime Ministers since independence.

This was followed by the human formation, assisted by choral speaking performance, and choir, for the 10th Malaysia Plan segment.

The spectators were entranced as 1,640 performers went through their paces, one fascinating segment after another, capturing the essence of the various government initiatives and transformation plans such as the National Key Result Areas and the New Economic Model.

There were also performances by the armed forces, including by members of the anti-terrorism unit and commandos who performed a rescue operation to free hostages.

The closing performance was by students of the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology and teacher's institutes as well as members of cultural groups, singing the 1Malaysia, Joget Malaysia and Jalur Gemilang songs.

*Taken from The Star Online.

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