30,000 people join in celebration
KOTA KINABALU: Some 30,000 people thronged Padang Merdeka here to celebrate Malaysia Day in the spirit of togetherness.
People from all walks of life flocked to Padang Merdeka as early as 4pm.
This year’s celebration was historic as it was the first under the Pakatan Harapan Federal Government and Parti Warisan Sabah state government.
It was also the first time Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad visited Sabah since he became the prime minister for the second time after the 14th General Election. He was accompanied by his wife, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali.
The crowd cheered and waved the Jalur Gemilang as national leaders arrived.
Present were Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
Also present were Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas and Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
After Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin arrived, the event began with the singing of the national and state anthems.
Colourful lights created a festive ambience as visitors were entertained with performances.
Besides speeches from Dr Mahathir and Shafie, a signing of the Malaysia Day Celebration Book was held to commemorate the formation of Malaysia in 1963.
Other highlights included a march by the Information Department personnel, presentation of Jalur Gemilang to the prime minister and a performance of Sayangi Malaysiaku.