7 for Merdeka

Seven major events to mark National Day

KUALA LUMPUR: A prayer for the nation, a walk down memory lane, a parade of pride and a showcase of unity.

Malaysiaku Gemilang (My Sterling Malaysia) gets a grand display spread out over seven major events as Malaysia celebrates her 50th year of Independence.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi launched the Merdeka celebrations at Dataran Pahlawan in Malacca on Aug 17. His call for every Malaysian to be patriotic set the tone for the occasion.

The Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin will lead the nation in prayer at 7pm today.

The King, Abdullah and other Muslim dignitaries will pray at Masjid Negara while non-Muslims will pray at their respective places of worship.

Our elders have been telling us how emotional it was when the Malayan flag was hoisted up for the first time at midnight on Aug 30, 1957 at Dataran Merdeka.

Tomorrow midnight, the same scene will be re-enacted. Lights and sound shows depicting Malaysia’s journey in the last 50 years will be projected onto the surrounding buildings starting at 8.30pm.

On Friday morning, the National Day parade will be held at Dataran Merdeka. The King and the entire Cabinet will be at the parade featuring segments of different eras helmed by the various Prime Ministers.

The eras are Independence (Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman), Development (Tun Abdul Razak Hussein), Unity (Tun Hussein Onn), Modernisation (Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad) and Excellence (Abdullah).

At 4pm the same day, the King and Queen will host a royal high-tea for invited guests at Istana Negara.

At night, the celebrations will culminate with a mega gathering at Stadium Merdeka. The first segment of this Merdeka giant celebration starts at 8pm, when Abdullah will give a speech that will be broadcast live nationwide.

When Abdullah shouts “Merdeka” seven times, a holographic figure of Tunku Abdul Rahman will also appear, followed by the hoisting of the Jalur Gemilang and the singing of the National Anthem.

The second segment is themed leadership era of all the Prime Ministers while segment three is the singing of patriotic songs.

On Sept 10, the celebration goes to Sarawak at the Stadium Negri in Kuching.

The King, Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Abang Muhammad Abang Barieng, Abdullah and Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud will be at the event – where there will be a grand show and dance.

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