Malaysians across the country were in high spirit to celebrate the country’s 61st National Day despite no massive national-level Merdeka countdown event was being held this year.
In the city, hundreds of city dwellers flocked to the usual venues for the countdown, such as the at the Merdeka Square and Jalan Bukit Bintang, and enjoyed the feeling of togetherness at the mini-concerts and firework displays – witnessing the new spirit of Malaysia.
In Selangor, the Merdeka countdown in i-City was also a nostalgic event for PKR president-elect Anwar Ibrahim. It marked his return to the place where he officiated the 29-hectare freehold ultrapolis, located along the Federal Highway in 1997 when he was the then deputy prime minister.
He joined about 40,000-odd visitors at i-City as the special guest of the "Terima Kasih Malaysia" 2018 Merdeka countdown. His arrival at 10.20pm at the iconic city was greeted by I-Bhd executive chairperson Lim Kim Hong and senior management of i-City.
Also present was Ministry of Tourism and Culture secretary-general Rashidi Hasbullah, Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) chairperson Azman Ujang and chief executive officer of Star Media Group Wong Chun Wai.
The state-level Merdeka countdown was held at the Dataran Kemerdekaan Shah Alam.
It was graced by Menteri Besar Amirudin Shari and attended by about 10,000 people.
In Negeri Sembilan, Menteri Besar Aminuddin Harun led 700 people at the Yasin recital, tahlil and doa selamat event at the State Mosque in Seremban, in conjunction with the National Day celebration.
The event was also attended by state executive councillors, senior state government officers and community leaders.
In Kedah, the state-level Merdeka countdown at the Pekan Rabu Complex was also attended by Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Tun Dr Mahathir and his wife, Tok Puan Norzieta Zakaria.
Approximately 1,000 people flocked the venue and was entertained by various performances, including a poem recital by Kedah state assembly speaker Ahmad Kasim.
In Perlis, 20,000 people flocked the Tuanku Syed Putra Stadium for the state-level Merdeka countdown event graced by the Raja of Perlis, Tuanku Syed Sirajuddin Jamalullail.
Also present was Raja Perempuan Tuanku Tengku Fauziah Tengku Abdul Rashid.
They were entertained by a procession of 60 contingents from the various government departments and agencies, stage performances and firework displays.
Menteri Besar Azlan Man and state executive councillors also attended the event.
In Terengganu, the Merdeka countdown event at Dataran Shahbandar was filled with more spiritual activities, such as nasyid performances and ceramah by popular preacher Ustaz Azhar Idrus, as well as firework displays.
The event was attended by almost 2,500 people and was graced by Menteri Besar Dr Ahmad Shamsuri Moktar.