KOTA KINABALU: Some 8,000 people from all walks of life gathered to celebrate the Head of State Tun Haji Juhar Datuk Haji Mahiruddin’s 66th official birthday at Padang Merdeka yesterday.
The attendees were treated with the yearly ceremonial parade, which saw a total of 74 contingents comprising 2,844 participants engaging in the colourful yearly affair.
Among those present at the event were Tun Juhar’s wife Toh Puan Norlidah Tan Sri RM Jasni; Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Shafie Apdal and his wife Datuk Shuryani Shuaib; Deputy Chief Ministers Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau, Datuk Christina Liew and Datuk Dr Jaujan Sambakong, other cabinet ministers, Mayor Datuk Haji Nordin Siman and heads of departments.
The ceremony started around 8am with the Governor receiving the royal salute from the guard of honour while followed by the national anthem ‘Negaraku’ and the state anthem ‘Sabah Tanah Airku’.
Tun Juhar then proceeded to inspect the contingents.
Apart from the ceremonial parade, Tun Juhar and the other guests were also treated with special performances from Sabah Credit Corporation and the Sabah Cultural Board.
The ceremonial parade were divided into five categories, namely, the Public and Private Higher Learning Institutions (IPTA /IPTS) Category, the Private/Commercial Category, the NGO Category, the Non-Uniformed Governmental Department Category and the Official Uniformed Government Department Category.
UiTM Sabah’s Komander Kesatria, Sabah Parks, Persatuan Kadet Bomba dan Penyelamat Tuaran, the Ministry of Infrastructure Development and Sabah Forestry Department emerged as champions in the aforementioned categories, respectively.
Following the parade, an investiture ceremony was then held at the Istana Negeri followed by a dinner reception at the State Legislative Assembly’s Banquet Hall.
To celebrate the Head of State’s birthday month, various activities will be held during October and November, among which are the Tea Ceremony with the Special Children and Orphans (October 10 at Nexus Spa and Resort Karambunai; the ‘Dirgahayu Tuan Yang Terutama’ Special Exhibition (October 15 at the State Museum); a high-powered motorcycle convoy from Kota Kinabalu to Kota Belud, led by Tun Juhar himself (October 19); the Excellence Award for State Athletes (October 22 at Sutera Harbour) and many more.