30,000 peo­ple join in cel­e­bra­tion

New Straits Times - - NEWS / NATION -

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.

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