Malaysia Day

Malaysia Day a plat­form for sol­i­dar­ity and in­te­gra­tion

New Straits Times - - Front Page -

Na­tion awash with pa­tri­o­tism, na­tional pride

RE­PORTS ON

AVILA GERAL­DINE KOTA KINABALU avila@nst.com.my

THOU­SANDS of Jalur Gemi­lang and Sabah flags dec­o­rate roads in Likas here, greet­ing passersby as the na­tion cel­e­brate the 54th Malaysia Day.

The long line of flags sig­ni­fies how far Malaysians have come in main­tain­ing unity and bring­ing about progress de­spite the many chal­lenges over the years since Sept 16, 1963.

More than 30,000 peo­ple are ex­pected to throng the Sports Com­plex in Likas today to com­mem­o­rate the es­tab­lish­ment of the Malaysian fed­er­a­tion.

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak is sched­uled to at­tend the event which starts at 7pm.

He will be ac­com­pa­nied by his deputy, Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi, Sabah Chief Min­is­ter Tan Sri Musa Aman and Sarawak Chief Min­is­ter Datuk Amar Abang Jo­hari Tun Openg.

Sabah Yang di-Per­tua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahirud­din will at­tend the event as the guest-ofhonour.

Through­out the evening vis­i­tors will be en­ter­tained by spe­cial dance and mu­sic per­for­mances.

Na­jib will de­liver his mes­sage in con­junc­tion with Malaysia Day, fol­lowed by a cake-cut­ting cer­e­mony by Juhar, a flag-rais­ing cer­e­mony and fire­works.

Univer­siti Sains Malaysia po­lit­i­cal and so­ci­ol­ogy se­nior lec­turer Prof Dr Si­va­mu­ru­gan Pan­dian de­scribed the event as an im­por­tant plat­form in bring­ing in­te­gra­tion and sol­i­dar­ity to Malaysians.

“Al­though we have big dif­fer­ences in terms of po­lit­i­cal and cul­tural be­liefs, we must set that aside and cel­e­brate to­geth­er­ness in a high spirit.

“To build a na­tion is not easy but to break it, can be done in the blink of an eye.

“There­fore, we must un­der­stand the ba­sis as to why we are cel­e­brat­ing Malaysia and work to­gether to­wards main­tain­ing peace,” he said.

Si­va­mu­ru­gan, who is a spokesman for Malaysia Day, hopes to see such events cel­e­brated in other states, par­tic­u­larly in the penin­sula.

Yes­ter­day city folk started vis­it­ing the main venue for the cel­e­bra­tion to join in ac­tiv­i­ties lined up for the three-day car­ni­val.

Forty-one gov­ern­ment agen­cies and non-gov­ern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions will host ex­hi­bi­tion booths.

Ten mo­bile ser­vices will be pro­vided by the courts, li­brary, Elec­tion Com­mis­sion, Na­tional Reg­is­tra­tion Depart­ment, Road Trans­port Depart­ment, Lem­baga Tabung Haji and other agen­cies.

Com­mu­ni­ca­tions and Mul­ti­me­dia Min­is­ter Datuk Salleh Said Keruak yes­ter­day thanked the prime min­is­ter for gazetting Sept 16 as a na­tional hol­i­day.

“I urge all cit­i­zens in Kota Kinabalu and sur­round­ing ar­eas to join in the cel­e­bra­tion.

“For those who can­not make it, there will be a live tele­cast by RTM,” he added.

Kota Kinabalu City Hall will also be pro­vidinga free bus ser­vice be­tween KK Sen­tral and the Sports Com­plex be­tween 5pm and 11pm today.

Mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai said those who wished to use the bus ser­vice could park their cars at KK Sen­tral mul­ti­storey car park for free.

He also took note of com­plaints re­gard­ing the noise en­dured by res­i­dents liv­ing near the main venue due to the prepa­ra­tions for the cel­e­bra­tion.

“We hope they will tol­er­ate it as Malaysia Day is a cel­e­bra­tion that we should all be proud of,” he said.

Prof Dr Si­va­mu­ru­gan Pan­dian

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