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Malaysia Day 2023 in Kuching a profound celebration of nationhood

0 month ago, 16-Sep-2023

The spectators cheering on and waving the Jalur Gemilang throughout the Malaysia Day 2023 celebration at Stadium Perpaduan in Kuching. – Photo by Chimon Upon

KUCHING (Sept 16): The national-level Malaysia Day 2023 celebration themed Malaysia Madani: Tekad Perpaduan, Penuhi Harapan (Determination in Unity, Fulfilling Hope) was a presentation of culture and arts, with over 500 performers staging a spectacular show at Stadium Perpaduan here tonight.

It marked the second time that the national celebration was held at the stadium, after 2019, and the seventh time it has been hosted in Sarawak since 2010.

With the slogan Segulai Sejalai symbolising unity, the pre-show performances kicked off at 7pm, before the official programme commenced at 8.40pm with the singing of national anthem Negaraku and state anthem Ibu Pertiwiku.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and wife Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail arrived at the stadium at 8.30pm, where they were welcomed by Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor.

Acting Head of State Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, the last to arrive, was the guest-of-honour for the night. The event was broadcast live nationwide via mainstream television channels and many social media platforms.

Anwar, flanked by Abang Johari (front, third left) and Asfia when singing the national and state anthems. Also seen on the same row are (from left) Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Hajiji. – Photo by Chimon Upon

The opening act was a contemporary dance titled Overture Soul of Malaysia, staged by National Culture and Arts Department Sarawak, Dayak Cultural Foundation, Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba) Sarawak and dancers under the federal National Culture and Arts Department.

A giant LED screen had been installed outside the stadium for the public to watch the programme. Outside, 20 food trucks had parked, offering a variety of street food to the spectators.

Going on at the same time within the vicinity of the stadium was the Rahmah Sales programme, selling essential items at very affordable prices.

Dancers performe during the opening act Overture Soul of Malaysia. – Photo by Chimon Upon

One of the highlights of the night was a three-segment musical theatre entitled Segulai Sejalai, illustrating the historic journey of Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak towards the pursuit of independence and eventually, the formation of Malaysia.

Other activities included a Malaysia Day concert featuring local artistes, a signing of Malaysia Day Special Book, a parade featuring the Merdeka Jalur Gemilang Convoy and the raising of Jalur Gemilang performed by Royal Malaysian Navy.

Concluding the whole showcase was a spectacular fireworks extravaganza.

Federal Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil, and Minister of Utility and Telecommunication Sarawak Datuk Julaihi Narawi were in charge of the national-level Malaysia Day celebration this year.