KUALA LUMPUR – Winning the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games (KL2017) is a special gift to Malaysians celebrating the eve of National Day last night.
The double celebration was held in full patriotic spirit and unity throughout the country, irrespective of race, religion, background and political differences.
The mood at the Bukit Jalil National Stadium, where KL2017 was held since Aug 19, turned into a celebration of patriotism in ushering in the country’s National Day.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, together with thousands of Malaysians celebrated the country’s achievements ahead of the stroke of midnight, Aug 31.
A video on the Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman was shown before a high spirited speech was delivered by Najib.
At the strike of midnight, cries of ‘Merdeka’ echoed throughout the stadium, before the audience sang the national anthem.
A concert and fireworks presentation was also held at the Petronas Twin Towers (KLCC) with thousands, including tourists, filling the KLCC Esplanade Park.
Celebrations were also held at different houses of worship according to their religious beliefs.
In PERAK, the celebration at Ipoh City Square here attended by the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah and Raja Permaisuri of Perak Tuanku Zara Salim was filled with various events including cultural presentations, Tae Kwan Do demonstration, and music performances by stompers who use tools made from recycled items.
The event was kicked off earlier with the Ipoh Merdeka Ride organised by the Ipoh City Council.
In KELANTAN, the celebration was held at the Kuala Krai Malaysian Civil Defence Agency office with local song performances, followed by a lucky draw and ‘Dikir Gegar Merdeka Negaraku’ concert.
This was followed by a video showcasing the development of Kuala Krai before the opening speech by Dabong State Assemblyman, who is also Kuala Krai UMNO Division chief, Datuk Ramzi Ab Rahman.
In KUALA TERENGGANU, thousands gathered at the Shahbandar Square in Kuala Terengganu to enjoy cultural performances and patriotic songs.
The ceremony, which began at 10pm, was attended by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Razif Abdul Rahman and State Assembly Speaker Datuk Zubir Embong.
In SARAWAK, the celebration this time was in Bintulu, with the eve of National Day People’s Concert held at the Esplanade.
A thanksgiving ceremony was also held at the Assyakirin Mosque in Bintulu attended by Yang diPertua Negeri of Sarawak Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Amar Abang Johari Tun Openg.
In KEDAH, the Darulaman Lake in Jitra was chosen as the venue to celebrate the occasion with various activities organised since yesterday, including a patriotic song competition, a mini car and vespa motorcycle exhibition, motorcycle convoys as well as nasyid and other Islamic art performances.
The climax of the event was the singing of the national anthem Negaraku and the Kedah state anthem “Allah Selamat Sultan” before the arrival of the district Merdeka convoy and recital of a poem on Independence.
In PENANG, thousands thronged Midtown Perda, Kubang Menerong, Tasek Gelugor to join the celebration organised by the Penang Implementation Coordinating Unit in collaboration with the Penang Bumiputera Entrepreneurs Expo (Penbex).
It was a unique experience in which visitors also had the opportunity to purchase goods and services from over 300 entrepreneurs offering promotions.
In NEGERI SEMBILAN, the celebration was held in a spirit of sportsmanship as the audience watched the closing ceremony of the 2107 SEA Games via a large screen at the Seremban Municipal Council Field.
In JOHOR, the celebration was held at Bukit Layang-Layang, Pasir Gudang, Johor Bahru, and the audience was treated by pop yeh yeh legend Datuk Jeffry Din to the rhythm of his popular song, ‘Mas Mona’.