Hundreds of people yesterday thronged the Malaysian High Commission’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house function at the High Commissioner Mohamad Sadik Kethergany's residence in Templewood Gardens, London.
The presence of Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is on a three-day working visit to the United Kingdom, added glitter to the event.
Also present were Mahathir’s wife Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, Foreign Minister Saifuddin Abdullah, and Youth and Sports Minister Syed Sadiq Abdul Rahman. Also present was Mahathir's daughter Marina.
Guests, comprising Malaysians and foreigners, were feted to Malaysian delicacies, among others, ‘satay’, ‘ketupat’, ‘lemang’, chicken rice, ‘raya’ cakes and ‘teh tarik’. The guests did not miss the opportunity to greet Mahathir and snap photos before he left for Cambridge to deliver a talk for Cambridge Union.
Mahathir, in welcoming the guests, said he was surprised to see so many Malaysians residing in London.
"Dear Malaysians, come back and help us to rebuild Malaysia," he told the ecstatic crowd who were eager to meet him.
Meanwhile, Qaisy Jaslenda, who had been working as an architect in London for the last three-and-a-half years, said the Hari Raya open house helped rekindle the Malaysian spirit.
Qaisy, who hailed from Shah Alam, said he was proud to be a Malaysian.
"People who saw me walking here in my baju Melayu and kain sampin said I looked great," he said proudly of the Malaysian heritage.
Balqis Azhar from Gombak, a third-year law student at Queen Mary University of London, said the event provided the opportunity for Malaysians to gather or to rekindle friendships.
Both Qaisy and Balqis said the event provided the "feeling at home, though faraway from home".
Wai Lum, a post-graduate student at Birkbeck, University of London, said that he loved the Malaysian atmosphere at the event.
The Kuala Lumpur youth is doing a Masters degree in accounting and finance.