PUTRAJAYA: The National Day 2018 celebrated today is an arena to unite all Malaysians in instilling a spirit of patriotism and importance of unity for the well-being of the nation.
This year’s National Day celebration culminated with a parade in Putrajaya today, featuring four similar components with the theme “Sayangi Malaysiaku” (Love My Malaysia), namely patriotism, public order, national security and unity of the people.
Upon the arrival of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V at Dataran Putrajaya, the ceremony which was witnessed by millions of Malaysians through their attendance at the venue and live broadcast on television and social media sites, began with the singing of the national anthem, Negaraku and followed by the recitation of the Rukun Negara pledge.
The Putrajaya air space was filled with the sounds of five helicopters comprising two EC 725 AP and a Sikorsky S61A-4 Nuri, belonging to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (TUDM), a Augusta 109 belonging to the Royal Malaysian Army (TDM) and a Super Lynx from the Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) as a guard of honour to Seri Paduka.
A 14-gun royal salute, symbolic of the 14 states in Malaysia was executed by the 41st Ceremonial Battery of the Royal Artillery Regiment and accompanied by the hoisting of the Jalur Gemilang while the singing of the Negaraku also filled the air.
Also present to witness the National Day 2018 parade were Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Cabinet ministers, including Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo and foreign representatives.
This year’s celebration is a historic milestone because of its significance in celebrating the administration of the Pakatan Harapan led federal government and new leadership with Dr Mahathir back at the helm at the age of 93.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V with Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Cabinet ministers, including Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo and foreign representatives at the National Day celebration. Pix by Luqman Hakim Zubir
The choice of Putrajaya as the location of the National Day 2018 celebration, after 13 years as host to the celebration, is also special as Dr Mahathir was the person who mooted and inspired the development of the area, previously known as Prang Besar, to become the country’s administrative centre in 1995.
The last time the National Day parade took place in Putrajaya was in 2005.
An estimated 300,000 people thronged the Dataran Putrajaya as early as 5 am to enliven the atmosphere, bringing along their Jalur Gemilang to witness the National Day parade.
The recital of the Rukun Negara pledge involving 50 students, including two disabled students, was led by Muhammad Aiman Shafiq Mohd Shah Noor Yong from the Royal Military College, Kuala Lumpur’s Sungai Besi Camp.
Shouts of ‘Merdeka’ for seven times, which was also led by Muhammad Aiman Shafiq, resounded at the Dataran Putrajaya.
A special performance, Sayangi Malaysiaku showcasing various community performances through the participation of 600 youth from the arts group, also attracted the attention of the crowd present.
Leading the parade was the 60-member contingent carrying the 80 ft by 40 ft gigantic flag.
This was followed by the 660 carriers of the Jalur Gemilang and 1,340 carriers of the state flags as well as multi coloured flags.
Throughout the event, the atmosphere was enlivened by the rhythm of tunes from the integrated uniformed band of 524 members. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd