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Friday, August 31, 2012

Hip-hop and fun twist to N-Day parade


Najib (centre) and other VIPs sing a patriotic song during the National Day parade at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur on August 31, 2012. Performers are seen shaking their pompoms in the foreground. — Reuters pic
KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 — For many Malaysians, watching the National Day parade — whether at the venue or on TV — is a family tradition. You get up early and watch this splendid parade of soldiers, schoolchildren, policemen, marching bands representing us — Malaysians — and you are reminded that 55 years ago today our nation was born.
This year’s National Day parade at Dataran Merdeka in the capital city to celebrate Malaysia’s 55th year of independence was just as rousing but it had a little twist. A little “street cred” had crept into the occasion.
A group of young people staged a hip-hop performance right before the grandstand and treated all the VIPs — including the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and Raja Permaisuri Agong — to a hip-hop performance complete with their very own drum line performance.
It was fun, it was now. 
That it was part of the National Day parade was a nod that this is where our future lies. With our young people. This is the way forward.
Meanwhile, Bernama reports that some 13,000 participants from all walks of the country’s multi-ethnic society, particularly the younger Generation, took part in the parade, symbolising strong national unity and harmony.
Based on the theme “1 Malaysia Janji Ditepati” (1 Malaysia Promises Fulfilled), the parade began soon after the King Tuanku Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah and the Queen Tuanku Haminah arrived at Dataran Merdeka at 8am sharp.
Their Majesties were welcomed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak and wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor. 
The King then took the salute before the national anthem “Negaraku” was played by the Royal Malay Regiment’s main band.  
At the same time, seven Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) helicopters made a fly-pass, carrying the national flag Jalur Gemilang as well as the flags of the Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysian Army, Royal Malaysian Navy, RMAF, Royal Malaysian Police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) while emitting smoke in the colours of red, blue and yellow of the national flag.
Tuanku Abdul Halim then inspected a guard-of-honour mounted by 103 members of the regiment and this was followed by shouts of “Daulat Tuanku” (Long Live the King) three times and the hoisting of the national flag accompanied to the “Negaraku” and the firing of a 14-gun salute. 
Fifty-five participants made up of teachers and students, undergraduates of public and private higher learning institutions, government agencies and statutory bodies as well as disabled persons dressed in the traditional attire of the various races to symbolise Malaysia’s cultural diversity then took a pledge on upholding the Rukun Negara (National Philosophy). 
The group was led by Azrai Abdul Aziz, a student of Sekolah Menengah Taman Melawati Gombak. 
This was then followed by shouts of “Merdeka” seven times and “Janji Ditepati” three times. 
Next up was a colourful rhythmic display by students on the Rukun Negara.
The much awaited parade of contingents then followed beginning with the Malaysian Armed Forces band and coming behind them the contingents carrying
the Jalur Gemilang and the flags of all 13 states and the Federal Territories.
And in a first, the contingent representing government agencies was led by Chief Secretary to the Government Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa accompanied by Malaysian Armed Forces chief General Tan Sri Zulkefli Mohd Zin and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Ismail Omar.   
Also in the contingent were the secretaries-general of the various ministries in further reinforcing the “55 Tahun Merdeka Janji Ditepati” (55 Years of Promises Fulfilled) theme.
The next contingent was that of uniformed bodies of the younger generation under the Future Young Leaders segment who performed the 1M4U dance, which received rave responses from the dignitaries present who also joined in singing the theme song.
Also taking part in the parade this time was an urban public transportation contingent comprising four Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) patrol cars, 55 1 Malaysia People’s Taxis and two RapidKL buses, which symbolised the transformation of the public transportation sector in the country.
The next segment showcased the national security contingent, which was also represented by its women personnel while the veteran warriors contingent came in antique cars used by national leaders when fighting for independence in the 1950s. 
Five helicopters used as military assets and for public security were also exhibited accompanied by the bands of their respective commands, namely the Malaysian Armed Forces, Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Air Force, Royal Malaysian Police and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency. 
The air space over Dataran Merdeka was also rocked by an air show by the security forces. 
The parade ended with a segment entitled “Bangsa Menjadi Rakyat Malaysia” which commenced with performances by the younger generation via active and energetic movements accompanied by the song “Drumline” and a medley of patriotic songs, namely “Nadi Rakyat”, “IM4U”, “Janji Ditepati”, “Tanggal 31”, “1 Malaysia” and ending with “Jalur Gemilang”.
The parade of almost two hours, which ended at about 10am, was also witnessed by Malaysians and tourists who had inundated Dataran Merdeka from as early as 6.30am, other than the millions who watched it on the RTM1 television channel.

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