Sabah and Sarawak-born children are among the huge crowd who converged at the venue of the 2023 National Day celebration at Dataran Merdeka today to share the joy and experience for themselves the excitement of celebrating the special occasion.
Gareth Dawum, 37, from Padawan, Sarawak, said he and his friends were at Dataran Putrajaya since 6 am to witness the highlight of the National Day 2023 celebration.
A senior consultant of an investment company said they came early so that they could get a strategic place to watch the parade by the various contingents and performances.
"We came early and even used the public transport that was provided for free so that we could get to a good location to watch the parade and performances.
"We are really excited to see our heroes like Frankie, Grouse, Denti and Sam, the K9 unit of the Fire and Rescue Department, in the parade,” he said, adding that he will also be in Kuching to witness the Malaysia Day celebration on Sept 16.
He said the perception by some quarters that Aug 31 National Day celebration is the independence date of the Federation of Malaya and should not be celebrated by the people of Sarawak is incorrect.
"We live in one country and should together celebrate the historic occasion to show the spirit of unity that is important among the multi-racial people in Malaysia," he added.
A data analyst from Sandakan, Sabah, Norhanizah Yaacob said this year's National Day celebration during the school holidays enabled her to bring along her two children, aged 11 and 12, to witness the parade.
Norhanizah, 35, who works at a private company in the federal capital, said that she brought along her children to expose them to the meaning of independence.
"The assumption that the people of Sabah and Sarawak do not need to celebrate National Day on Aug 31 is not true because what is important is the appreciation of the meaning of independence," she said.
The 2023 National Day celebration is themed “Malaysia MADANI: Tekad Perpaduan, Penuhi Harapan” (Determination in Unity, Fulfilling Hope).
This is the fifth time Putrajaya is hosting the National Day celebration. The previous ones were in 2003, 2005, 2018 and 2019.
Source: BERNAMA News Agency