MIRI: The Sarawak-level National Day celebration centred here yesterday was fun-packed with patriotic performances to strengthen the nationalistic spirit among Malaysians although it was held on a small scale, with only a high tea.
Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and wife Datin Patinggi Dato Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang were among over 500 people who attended the high tea held at a leading hotel.
Earlier upon their arrival, children representing various ethnic groups in their traditional attires, sang the ‘Sarawak Harmony’.
On the stage there were various performances. The 30 dancers from ‘Bangkit Berinspirasi’ did the welcoming dance reflecting the unity and harmony of the multi-racial people in Sarawak, followed by prayer and video presentation with a message on unity and harmony as the people celebrate the nation’s achievements. There were sketches, patriotic songs (including national and state anthems) and dances by local artistes and students.
The chief minister launched the celebration by putting the specially designed love sign to light up the LED screen showing the gigantic Love sign to signify this year’s celebration theme ‘Sayangi Malaysiaku’ (Love My Malaysia).
Abang Johari then led the VVIPs and audience in singing the patriotic ‘Lagu Warisan’ and at the same time waving both the national (Jalur Gemilang) and Sarawak flags.
Later when asked by reporters on his message for the National Day, Abang Johari only said one sentence ‘Selamat Menyambut Hari Kebangsaan dan kita jagakan perpaduan supaya kita terus membangun’ – Happy National Day and we uphold unity so that we will continue to progress.
In his message in the programme book he said Sarawak is happy to share the joy of the National Day celebration, which was held peacefully.
He hoped that the federal government would prioritise development in Sarawak particularly infrastructure project and solve problems of dilapidated schools. At the same time Sarawak will continue to work closely with the federal government, including reclaiming its rights,
The chief minister reiterated that the Sarawak government would continue with its mission to develop Sarawak so that all Sarawakians are able to enjoy the basic amenities and good infrastructure.
“This year, RM2 billion has been disbursed to solve water problems in the state, and another RM5 billion since taking over the state leadership, for the construction of roads, bridges and other projects to further uplift the quality of life of the people, particularly those in the rural areas,” he said.
Among those present at the event yesterday were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, former deputy chief minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan, Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nasar, Minister in Chief Minister’s Office (Integrity and Ombudsman) Datuk Talib Zulpilip who was the minister in-charge of the celebration, and also Assistant Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture Datuk Lee Kim Shin.