A journey through the differences and similarities that make Malaysia unique – in a sarong.
KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysians wore their patriotism on their hips when they turned out in sarong again to ride the city trains.
For the fifth time since its inaugural edition in 2012, sarongclad commuters hopped onto the Keretapi Sarong campaign to commemorate the 55th Malaysia Day.
Some wore the wrap in floral prints while others sported checks paired with an array of styles – baju Melayu, Kadazan outfits and other traditional wear.
Some held placards such as #SayangMalaysia and #MalaysiaDay as they danced and belted out patriotic songs at the train stations.
Lawyer Jalil Jaafar, 24, who donned a goldcoloured sarong, said the event was a good platform to unite Malaysians and strengthen interracial bonds.
“I want to be with other Malaysians on this special day.
“This event shows that we live harmoniously in a multiracial and multicultural society, and can learn so much from each other,” he said.
In a press release, organiser Locco (short for Local Companion) – a communitybased NGO that showcases and celebrates Malaysian local cultures to empower them – said Keretapi Sarong was a public flash mob that promoted the use of public transport and preservation of cultural wear.
“It follows up on its successful revival last year by launching its 2018 edition in conjunction with the 55th Malaysia Day to celebrate Malaysia Baru,” it added.
The campaign is modelled after the No Pants Subway Ride movement in New York.
Participants gathered as early as 9am at five train stations here before meeting at the last stop – the Muzium Negara LRT station.
Even nonMalaysians joined in the festivity.
Student Sunwan Kim, 22, from South Korea said he learnt about it from his friends.
“By being here, I get to know Malaysians better. I am truly impressed by the unity and diversity shown by all.
“I heard songs and saw very interesting dances. I see that Malaysians love their music and culture,” he said.
For Amy Ariff, in her 30s, it was a memorable first ride on the MRT.
“Everyone has been talking about it on social media. So, this year I decided to be part of the journey. I did not regret my decision,” she beamed.
Sheena Shah, 29, said it was a “truly Malaysian” showcase.
“It is Malaysia Day and it is just like a big party. Regardless of one’s race, religion or background, it is a party for all Malaysians,” she said.
Fashionable statement: Keretapi Sarong participants posing for a group photo.