KOTA KINABALU: More than 10,000 flooded the city centre here to celebrate a livelier Sabah-level 2019 Merdeka Day celebration yesterday.
This year’s national day marching parade saw an increase in number of contingents – 172 consisting of 8,500 people compared to 2018’s 149 contingents, at Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens.
The contingents consisted of participants from schools, higher learning institutions, private and commercial sector enterprises, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), ethnic associations, and government bodies.
Gracing the event were Head of State Tun Dr Haji Juhar Datuk Haji Mahiruddin and his consort, Toh Puan Norlidah Tan Sri RM Jasni.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and wife, Datin Seri Shuryani Shuaib, Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Jaujan Sambakong, Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau and Datuk Christina Liew, cabinet ministers, and dignitaries from various organizations were also there at the ‘Sayangi Malaysia, Malaysia Bersih’ themed celebration.
Sabah Infrastructure Development Minister Datuk Peter Anthony, who is also the event’s organizing chairperson, presented certificates and prizes to winners of the parade.
The champions of the marching parade were Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) Enforcement Department for the official government uniformed department category, the Malaysia Persatuan Pandu Puteri Sabah branch for the NGO/association category, Korporasi Pembangunan Desa for the private/commercial category, Persatuan Bangsa Tombonuo Sabah for the Sabah ethnic association category, Public Works Department for the official government non-uniformed department category, and Komander Kesatria UiTM Sabah branch for the public or private higher learning institution category.
Among the other activities of the event, which concluded around 11.20am, were a choir performance by DBKK, a poem rendition, and a special performance by the Sabah Cultural Board.