PUTRAJAYA, June 5 ( Bernama) — To fulfil her dream of meeting Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad in person, housewife Che Rosnah Mohamad Murad, 56, was willing to join thousands in queue at the Hari Raya open house held by the prime minister and the Cabinet at the Seri Perdana Complex here today.
The wheelchair-bound Che Rosnah said she decided to visit Seri Perdana in Precint 10 together with her husband and eight-year-old daughter because it was a golden opportunity to realise her childhood dream of meeting Dr Mahathir in person.
“From young I have heard stories from my adoptive father about Tun performing prayers at Anak Bukit together with the Sultan of Kedah and other members of the royalty before celebrating Raya with the community in the area.
“Since then this desire (to meet Tun) has been etched in my heart and today I’ve realised my dream although I had to leave my house in Dengkil at 8 am,” the Alor Star-born Che Rosnah told Bernama.
Another visitor, Sherin Lee, 38, took the opportunity to visit Seri Perdana so that her children could meet Dr Mahathir, whom she described as an amazing leader.
Sherin, who lives in Kajang and was a first-time visitor to Sri Perdana, said such an atmosphere could not be found in other countries.
“I wanted my children to feel the experience of meeting Tun and at the same time celebrate Raya on such a joyous scale with all races in Malaysia,” she said.
For housewife S. Ganeswari, 70, it was the achievements and strength of the 93-year-old Dr Mahathir that inspired her and her two sons to visit Seri Perdana.
Ganeswari said she wanted to seize the opportunity to see Dr Mahathir, whom she described as “fatherly and caring”.
“I wanted to thank Tun for leading this country. Young people should learn from Tun how to look after this country,” said Ganeswari, who is from Kuala Lumpur.
Among the Cabinet members present were Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman, Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook, Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Salahuddin Ayub, Education Minister Dr Maszlee Malik and Human Resources Minister M. Kula Segaran
More than 30 types of delicacies were served at the open house, including nasi beriyani, lemang, sate, laksa and kambing golek.
The open house, which started at 10 am, received about 50,000 people from all walks of life.
Dr Mahathir, wearing a blue Baju Melayu, and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamed Ali, dressed in a batik baju kurung, were in good spirits as they greeted guests who included political party leaders, foreign diplomats, tourists, representatives of non-governmental organisations and corporate leaders.
The event, which was supposed to end at 4.30 pm, was extended until 6 pm because of the overwhelming response from the public who were waiting for a chance to meet and greet their much loved and respected leader.
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