KUALA LUMPUR, June 25 — About 25,000 people attended the Aidilfitri open house hosted today by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, at the compound of Istana Negara.
The people, many foreign tourists among them, gathered at the open house from as early as 9.30 am although His Majesty was scheduled to exchange greetings with the guests only from noon.
Various kinds of traditional food and drinks were served at the open house, including satay, laksam, mee, roti jala and kerepok lekor.
All visitors were presented with raya cookies.
One of the guests was Mizoi Harata, 23, a Japanese student from a private educational institution, who had come at the insistence of friends.
“This is my second year as a student in Malaysia. I find Malaysia a unique country, with a diversity of races and languages. I’ll be missing this country once I’m back in Japan. Last year, I celebrated Eid (Aidilfitri) at my friend’s hometown in Terengganu, and this year at Istana Negara. I love it,” she said.
M. Ragunathan, 46, of Sentul was also attending the open house for the first time.
“I read about the open house in the newspaper. So, I decided to bring my family over,” he said.
Yasser Ahmed, 35, a tourist from Saudi Arabia visiting Malaysia for the third time, said it was his maiden visit to the open house. “My previous visits were not during Eid. Our travel agent informed about this open house and we came here around noon and managed to partake of some Malaysian food,” he said.
Edwan Tan, 48, of Sarawak was also at the open house. He had come with some friends.
He said he would make it a point to attend the open house at Istana Negara whenever he had the chance.
“This is the only opportunity for the people to visit Istana Negara, once a year. It is good to see so many people of various races at this special occasion,” he said. — Bernama