PUTRAJAYA, Aug 31 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob last night attended the Ambang Merdeka 2022 programme at Anjung Floria, Precinct 4 here along with some 10,000 members of Keluarga Malaysia (the Malaysian Family) to usher in Malaysia’s National Day.
Ismail Sabri arrived at Anjung Floria at 11.30pm, accompanied by Federal Territories Minister Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim and his deputy Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias. Several Cabinet ministers were also present, including Senior Education Minister Datuk Dr Radzi Jidin and Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.
At the stroke of midnight, cheers and shouts of “Merdeka” reverberated around the grounds followed by the late Datuk Sudirman Arshad’s popular number Tanggal 31 Ogos, the national anthem and other patriotic songs.
This was followed by a dazzling five-minute-long fireworks display that lit up the Putrajaya sky blessed with clear weather as an excited crowd cheered on.
Earlier, the crowd was treated to performances by popular local artistes such as Ella, Haqiem Rusli, Man Bai and Ameng Spring and also various traditional dances. In Kuala Lumpur, thousands of people of all ages and races flooded focal points around the capital including the Botanical Gardens and KLCC to usher in National Day.
Anticipating heavy congestion and the gathering of thousands of city dwellers, checks by Bernama in KLCC found traffic well managed by Kuala Lumpur police, who also ensured the safety of the surroundings, especially in the focal areas of KLCC.
In Perlis, a heavy downpour did not dampen the spirit of about 20,000 people who ushered in the Independence celebrations at the Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium, which also saw a choir performance by 300 civil servants, a contingent parade and a speech by Perlis Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Azlan Man as well as the launch of the National Day celebrations by the Raja of Perlis Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Putra Jamalullail.
Also gracing the event were the Raja Perempuan of Perlis Tuanku Tengku Fauziah Tengku Abdul Rashid, Raja Muda of Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail and Raja Puan Muda of Perlis Tuanku Lailatul Shahreen Akashah.
The night culminated with a fireworks display at the stroke of midnight.
In Perak, the Merdeka countdown began as early as 8pm at Dataran Bandaraya Ipoh with some 10,000 city folks in attendance. The celebration started with dance and singing performances by popular celebrities such as Amira Othman and Hael Husaini as well as poetry recitations. In attendance were Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Saarani Mohamad and state executive councillors.
In Pahang, a total of 65 base dives by 18 local and foreign skydivers enlivened Merdeka eve at the Kuantan 188 tower to usher in National Day 2022.
All took turns to dive from the tower's 104 metre open platform and more interestingly, the 65th dive was completed by the oldest skydiver in Malaysia, Jamaluddin Ismail, 67.
In Selangor, the Merdeka eve celebration held at Dataran Kemerdekaan in Shah Alam was enlivened with a contingent parade comprising government departments and the private sector, school marching bands and special demonstrations by uniformed bodies.
At the event, Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari also handed over the keys to ‘Rumah Idaman’ homes to the 26 players of the Selangor football team that won the 1995 Malaysia Cup as well as Malaysian Armed Forces veteran Mustafa Jantan and ex-policeman Bahari Ismail who were crowned Tokoh Kemerdekaan Selangor.
The National Day eve celebration ended with a fireworks display accompanied by patriotic songs and the call of ‘merdeka’ seven times by the Selangor Menteri Besar.
In Kelantan, light rain did not stop more than 1,000 people from celebrating the ‘Merdeka@Parlimen Ketereh’ programme at SK Tegayong, Melor in Kota Bharu, tonight.
It included dikir barat performances, speeches and poetry recitations.
In Terengganu, the celebration in Kuala Terengganu began with a religious forum entitled Merdeka Jiwa, Sejahtera Ummah, featuring former Terengganu state mufti Datuk Zulkifly Muda and religious preacher Syed Mohd Norhisyam Tuan Padang as panellists.
The programme held at Dataran Muara Utara KTCC here, which was also attended by several state government executive councillors, also featured performances from nasyid groups, local artistes and the Terengganu State Tourism Department’s artistic group as well as poetry recitations by literary artists.
Before the 'countdown', a team of soldiers carried the Jalur Gemilang to the main stage, which was then hoisted by navy personnel, while the highlight of the programme was a mesmerising fireworks display.
Rows of trucks selling various types of food also livened up the area thronged by more than 10,000 visitors.
In Kedah, the state-level celebration was held in a great mood at Dataran Pekan Rabu, Alor Setar, even though it began raining at 7.30 pm, with the programme including poetry recitals by Kedah Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM) officers.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Muhammad Sanusi Md Nor gave a speech, while army personnel presented an unarmed combat performance at the event which was capped off by a countdown to midnight and chants of ‘merdeka’, followed by a fireworks display
In Johor, Yasin recitation, tahlil and thanksgiving prayers were organised by Johor Bahru Umno at the compound of the Johor Bahru Umno division building in Larkin.
The estimated 500 people who attended the event were also treated to traditional zapin dance, lion dance, poetry recitation and self-defence performances before the venue reverberated to shouts of ‘Merdeka’ at the stroke of midnight.
In Sarawak, National Day was ushered in with the staging of various events in the Betong Division, about 250 km from Kuching city.
The celebration, held at the compound of Dewan Sukan Tan Sri Datuk Amar Stephen Kalong Ningkan, kicked off with a concert at 8 pm featuring popular local artistes as well as traditional and contemporary dance troupes from the Sarawak Arts Council.
Some 2,000 visitors attended the event, which culminated with a fireworks display at the end of the concert at 10.30 pm.
The main celebration of National Day 2022, themed 'Keluarga Malaysia Teguh Bersama, will be held this morning at Dataran Merdeka with an expected attendance of 50,000 people, the first grand gathering in two years after the country was hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. — Bernama