KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysians ushered 2016 with dazzling firework displays in places like Kuala Lumpur while others opted to throng religious-tinged events to mark the occasion, bidding adieu to a year full of challenges.
Thousands in the capital and elsewhere around the country made a beeline for designated venues to await the arrival of the new year, with various activities like concerts lined up by organisers to build the momentum before the countdown.
Others preferred to mark the event by offering special prayers for the well-being of the country and all Malaysians in the year at various places of worship.
In KUALA LUMPUR, the New Year celebrations kicked off at the KLCC Petronas Twin Towers, Pavilion in Bukit Bintang, The Curve, Damansara, KL Tower and several other locations, including at Taman Titiwangsa.
On the stroke of midnight, the Kuala Lumpur skyline was lighted up by dazzling fireworks to mark the arrival of the New Year – 2016.
Revellers from all walks of life filled Dataran Merdeka, the usual ‘happening’ place during new year celebrations, for the ‘Kuala Lumpur Berselawat Wilayahku Ceria’ programme which was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
About 300 traffic police kept law and order and ensured smooth traffic flow in and around the city, especially the main roads leading into and out of the city.
In SARAWAK, heavy rain since 7pm failed to dampen the spirit of 10,000 odd revellers who braved the rain to usher the new year by gathering at the Tun Abang Muhammad Salahuddin Bridge in Petra Jaya to celebrate the new year with Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem.
Celebrations were held at the bridge for the first time since the countdown to 2016 marked the end of toll collection in Sarawak as announced by the chief minister earlier.
In PUTRAJAYA, the Islamic Arts programme of the 2016 New Year celebrations, which was filled with the reading of Yasin, ‘tahlil’ prayers and ‘doa selamat’, a forum and religious choir performances took place at the Putra Mosque.
In SELANGOR, Shah Alam residents thronged the i-City to usher in 2016 where they were treated to an exciting display of fireworks at the stroke of midnight.
In PAHANG, almost 1,000 participants took part in the 35km 2016 New Year Niteride organised by the Kuantan Municipal Council around the Kuantan city to the Teluk Cempedak beach.
Some 700 Christians attended a religious ceremony to mark the arrival of the new year at the St Thomas’s Church, and led by Father Patrick Boudville.
The ‘Kuantan Berselawat’ programme held to coincide with the celebration of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday at the Sultan Ahmad Shah 1 mosque also attracted the participation of the local Muslim community.
In PERAK, about 20,000 people gathered at Dataran Majlis Bandaraya Ipoh to welcome 2016 with fireworks, songs by Gegar Vaganza winner Siti Nordiana, launch of Visit Perak Year 2017 and a flash mob.
In PENANG, people filled Persiaran Karpal Singh, Jelutong to welcome 2016 with a concert featuring local artistes, dance performance and a fireworks display.
In KELANTAN, the celebration was held on a moderate scale at Stadium Sultan Muhammad IV where Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Yakob urged civil servants to give their best.
In MELAKA, 2016 was welcomed with a performance by Briged Seni Melaka and Miss Tourism World 2015 contest with participants from 50 countries at Dataran Pahlawan, Bandar Hilir.
In SABAH, although no welcome celebration was organised, the people gathered at Teluk Likas to welcome 2016 with family members and friends. – BERNAMA