PUTRAJAYA, Aug 31 — More than 100,000 gathered at dataran Putrajaya to celebrate Malaysia’s independence day this morning.
The National Day parade in conjunction with the country’s 62nd independence anniversary was held in the federal administrative capital here for the second time in 13 years.
The massive crowd was tightly packed along both sides of the 3km-long Persiaran Perdana, the main avenue leading from the Finance Ministry to the Attorney General Chambers and an air of anticipation is palpable.
Children were seen laughing and waving the Jalur Gemilang, singing along to the various patriotic songs being played over the public announcement system.
The crowd of Malaysians from all walks of life was as colourful as their attire worn today.
Young women clad in Jalur Gemilang tudungs stood next to others clad in shirts and pants with the national flag as the motif. Others colour-matched their pants, shirts and caps and socks to the Jalur Gemilang with red, blue, yellow and white as the theme.
A few parade-goers were also spotted using stilts to get a better view of things.
Among the attendees were Sivarajan Mugunthan and his two kids.
“It’s our first Merdeka Parade and we like the atmosphere here. Everyone’s in good spirits and my kids loved seeing the army stuff, like guns and armoured trucks.
“It’s also our first time in Putrajaya. The place is beautiful,” said Siva.
The celebration kicked off this morning at 8am with the hoisting of the Jalur Gemilang, the singing of the national anthem followed by a 14-gun-salute, the recitation of the Rukun Negara and ended with seven shouts of “Merdeka” by the master of ceremonies.
This year, the theme of the parade is “Sayangi Malaysiaku: Malaysiaku Bersih” with an emphasis on Pakatan Harapan’s vision of shared prosperity, high integrity, good governance and eradicating corruption and bribery.
For this year, the government showcased a human graphics formation which involved 2,250 students from 53 schools in Selangor.
The students displayed graphics like the Malaysian flag and messages like “Sayangi Malaysiaku”, “Malaysia Bersih” and “Gagah Setia”.
Some 14,885 personnel from 34 contingents took part in the parade. They came from various government-linked companies, civil associations as well the Armed Forces.
The crowd was impressed by this display with some commenting that it gave an extra edge to the festivities.
“They must have been practising for weeks or months to be that coordinated,” said Mohd Arifnasruldin Mirza Ariff who came with his teenage daughter and wife.
“We reached as early as 6am as we wanted to try to get as close as possible to the front. It’s our first Merdeka Parade and we’re glad we came. I will definitely come again next year,” said the Rawang native.