Meaningful 2020 National Day celebration, although held under new normal

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 31 –The National Day 2020 celebration today, though held under the new normal circumstances at Dataran Pahlawan Negara here, is a meaningful one being it at a time when the country is still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Themed ‘Malaysia Prihatin’ (Malaysia Cares), it is held for the first time at Dataran Pahlawan Negara with attendance limited to dignitaries, security members and personnel involved to ensure the ceremony runs according to the prescribed standard operating procedures (SOP).

Those present are required to have their body temperature scanned and to register their attendance using the MySejahtera application, as well as to wear face mask as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the the seats for the dignitaries are arranged about a metre apart to ensure physical distancing.

Although Malaysians are not able to witness the country’s momentous moments directly from their usual locations every year, they have the opportunity to watch the anniversary celebration live through television screens and social media sites.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah arrived the location at 8 am to grace the event, following which the National Anthem was played to mark the beginning of the celebration.

Their Majesties were greeted on arrival by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and wife, Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman and Communications and Multimedia Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and his wife, Datin Norlin Shamsul Bahri.

After the national anthem ended, Their Majesties were led to the Dewan Serbaguna Dataran Pahlawan Negara, where His Majesty delivered the royal address, the second royal address by a Head of State on National Day.

The first royal address was by the fourth Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, which was 50 years ago when the Rukun Negara was declared in 1970.

Before the royal address by Al-Sultan Abdullah, guests at the Dewan Serbaguna Dataran Pahlawan Negara was shown on a large screen a teaser of the National Day 2020 Live Broadcast by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM).

In conjunction with the National Day celebration and the 50th Anniversary of Rukun Negara, His Majesty called on the people to appreciate and safeguard the country’s independence and peace.

His Majesty said the five principles should serve as a guide and be practised by all quarters, including the country’s leaders, the government and Malaysians.

After the royal address, Al-Sultan Abdullah returned to his seat and watch the live telecast by RTM on the 2020 National Day celebration with the guests.

The programme for the celebration included a cavalry parade by personnel from various agencies while carrying the Jalur Gemilang.

The parade, from the Putra Bridge to Dataran Putra, Precinct 1, was led by Putrajaya Corporation president) Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim.

The national flag was then handed over by Malaysian Armed Forces Equestrian chairman Colonel Norazrin Shamsudin to the flag raisers, who then hoist the Jalur Gemilang.

The live broadcast then moved over to the event at Dataran Tugu Negara, in Kuala Lumpur, where the reciting of the pledge by 66 frontliners of COVID-19 took place.

They comprised personnel from the Fire and Rescue Department, National Disaster Management Agency (Nadma) , Information Department, Malaysian Armed Forces, Immigration Department, Civil Defence Department and the Kuala Lumpur City Hall and was led by Dr Izwan Effendy Zainuddin from the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Health Department.

This was then followed by the singing of “Malaysia Prihatin’, a song composed by RTM Music director Datuk Mokhzani Ismail, with the lyrics by El Sol Akhmad.

The song, sang by Aina Abdul, Siti Sarah Raisuddin, Alif Satar and Syamel at Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur, was a tribute to frontliners and Malaysians in coming together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also featured are capsules on the challenges of the frontliners so far, segment on recording of the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) contingent parade at the Police Training Center (Pulapol), Kuala Lumpur and segment on Jalur Gemilang performance at Dataran Merdeka.

The segment on the PDRM’s parade also featured its assets and helicopters doing a flypast above Pulapol , and demonstration on self-defence martial arts using shield and baton by members of the Federal Reserve Unit.

There was also a segment showing the assets of the marine police, such as the PC31 patrol boat.

Their Majesties left the venue at about 9.40 am.

–BERNAMA

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