A Malaysia for all
Thousands join festivities in KK to mark Malaysia Day
They may be separated by the South China Sea but Malaysians from George Town right up to Kota Kinabalu and Sibu marked the formation of the country with celebration and patriotism.
KOTA KINABALU: A sea of Jalur Gemilang filled the Likas Sports Complex as thousands waved the national flag to the beat of patriotic songs that included Sehati Sejiwa and Aku Negaraku to celebrate Malaysia Day.
It was a curtain-raiser to the festivities to celebrate the birth of Malaysia 54 years ago.
Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman joined the crowd for the celebration.
In his speech, Najib said the parochial calls of “Sabah for Sabahans” and “Sarawak for Sarawakians” should be dropped and be replaced with “Malaysia for Sabah and Sarawak”.
He said the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the 1963 Malaysia Agreement would always be respected.
He said the Sabah and Sarawak special rights Cabinet committee was already looking into various aspects raised by the two states.
“Our discussions will be done soon.
“They are being done civilly, like discussions between siblings.”
Najib said the Government would provide special allocations for rural development in the states because they need it.
“The development gap with Peninsular Malaysia will be reduced till it is wiped out,” he said, adding that the formation of Malaysia has brought much progress to the two states.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Sarawak State Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nasar.
The celebration began with the Prime Minister signing a commemorative Malaysia Day book.
Najib also joined Juhar, Musa and other federal and state leaders in the cutting of a Malaysia Day cake.
A team of security personnel marched in later, bearing a huge Jalur Gemilang that was slowly raised as the crowd sang NegaraKu.
After that, there was a series of performances by various artistes, including Zizi Kirana, Atmosfera, Ella, Hael Husaini, Nana Sheme, Francis Landong, Janrywine, Nera, Rosario Bianis and Farish Aziz.
A 10-minute fireworks display capped off the celebration that was held under overcast skies.
A similar celebration at the Sibu town square in Sarawak was attended by Governor Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud and his wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib, Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife Datin Patinggi Dato Jumaa’ni Tun Tuanku Bujang, as well as other state leaders and dignitaries.
The evening event featured a mix of patriotic and entertainment performances coordinated by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Sarawak.
A show of unity: Najib and Juhar (on Najib’s left) together with their wives Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Puan Norlidah R.M. Jasni (in yellow headscarf) cutting the cake to mark the Malaysia Day celebrations at the Likas Sports Complex in Kota Kinabalu. Also present at the event were (from left) Multimedia and Communications Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak, Amar Mohamad, Musa and Dr Ahmad Zahid.