KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 31 – For many people celebrating the 2017 National Day at Dataran Merdeka today, the reenactment of the historic moment in 1957 was like a trip back into history and imbued with the spirit of patriotism. Generally, those met by Bernama said the remarkable celebration highlighted today was nostalgic and made them appreciative and thankful of the country’s independence.
Former soldier Nordin Basiron, 51 from Cheras, said this year’s National Day celebration reminded him of the time when he was serving in the Malaysia Armed Forces. “When I watch today’s celebration, it reminded of my military service when I was also involved in the parade about 20 years ago.
“Before it (celebration) was the usual parade and national assets being displayed but this time it was a narration of the country’s independence which is very memorable. I really ‘salute’ and this celebration is very meaningful,” he said to Bernama. A student at a private higher education institution, Fadhillah Syahida Fakhrul, 23, said the National Day celebration gave him the opportunity to learn more about the history of the country.
“It moved me to tears to know how difficult it was for the people in the past to fight for independence. When the sketch was presented, it was very exciting to see the character of Tunku Abdul Rahman (Putra Al-Haj) being welcomed by the people when independence was attained.
“Actually before this, we don’t know the hardship endured by the people in the past but today we can imagine when it is reenacted at the celebration,” he said. Australian tourist Sarah Nelson, who was at Merdeka Square since 7.30am, said she was informed by her tourist guide that Malaysia will be celebrating its National Day today.
“I’m excited to watch the parade and the whole celebration. In August last year, I was in India, and I witnessed their Independence Day celebration, and this year I’m here to witness ‘Merdeka’. As a history and literature lecturer, I love to read other country’s history and their road to independence. I’ll go back to Australia with memorable moments,” said the solo traveller.
Another tourist from Spain, Nicholas Smith said he was surprised to see crowds of people while travelling in the LRT from KLCC station early this morning. “I got the answer through my new friend I met inside LRT who is heading to Merdeka Square for the celebration. So I and my wife, Tina decided to join him (new friend) and yeah, we are here now! It’s great to see Malaysians under one roof on this day … Happy Merdeka, Malaysia,” said the pharmacist. — Bernama