National Day Celebration Features 60 Years of History

1980
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The 60th Merdeka celebration at Dataran Merdeka was a nostalgic walk back in time to the country’s independence in 1957.

Miera Zulyana/MMO

Tens of thousands of people who had arrived as early as 6am at Dataran Merdeka and the numerous others who watched the live broadcast at home were taken on a journey of the country through the years under six prime ministers.

The square was transformed to depict life in 1957, including the way people dressed then and the vehicles of that era.

Merdeka Stadium, the venue of the declaration of Independence of Malaya by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj on Aug 31, 1957, was re-enacted at Dataran Merdeka, allowing the crowd to feel as if they were there on that historic day when the jubilant shouts of “Merdeka” were played back.

Other highlights of the celebration included field performances, the National Day parade and procession, assets showcased by the police, an airshow by the Royal Malaysian Airforce (RMAF) and the surprise appearance of the national Olympic contingent.

The celebration, with the theme ‘Negaraku Sehati Sejiwa’ (My Country, One Heart, One Soul), began at 8am and was attended by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Sultan Muhammad V, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Cabinet ministers, foreign diplomats and leaders from various backgrounds in the country.

Lai Seng/Reuters