KUALA LUMPUR – This year’s National Day celebration will, for the first time, witness a lineup of the country’s national icons in the reading of the pledge.
Principal Assistant Secretary of the Ceremonial and Protocol Section, Prime Minister’s Department, Mohd Hanafiah Mokhtar said they included Youth Icon Muhammad Zhariff Affandi, wushu athlete Diana Bong Siong Lin, Mount Kinabalu guide Mohd Rizuan Kauhinin and radio announcer Fara Fauzana.
“Previously, the number of people who read the pledge depended on the year of the celebration, like on the 57th National Day celebration, we had seven people reading the pledge.
“However, this year, we chose people who have achieved success in their respective fields who are national icons,” he told Bernama when met after today’s National Day parade rehearsal at Dataran Merdeka here Friday.
The National Day parade involves the participation of about 10,000 participants from government and private agencies, members of the security forces and students.
The theme for this year’s National Day celebration is “Sehati Sejiwa” (Of One Heart, One Soul).
Saifulkhairi Ahmad, who has been the master of ceremonies for the country’s National Day celebration since the past few years, said he believed the selection of the national icons for the reading of the pledge would be an inspiration to others, especially the young people.
All the while, we have school students, and sometimes teachers, to read the pledge, the change by having national icons will be good,” he added.
Saifulkhairi is an Assistant Director at the National Culture and Arts Department.
Meanwhile, wushu athlete Diana Bong Siong Lin, 30, said she was touched to be given the honour to be the first athlete to read the pledge for the 2015 National Day celebration.
“This is a recognition for wushu and sports in general,” she added.
As for mountain guide Mohd Rizuan, 26, he said he was excited to be among those to read the pledge.
He was among the mountain guides involved in the rescue operations at Mount Kinabalu following the earthquake which hit Ranau in Sabah last June 5.
A picture of him carrying a Singaporean boy on his back became viral on the social websites. – BERNAMA