GEORGE TOWN: Dr Mahathir Mohamad today launched a month-long campaign to build up patriotism among Malaysians before the Aug 31 Merdeka celebrations.
The National Month and Fly the Jalur Gemilang event was launched at Padang Kota Lama here tonight, attended by thousands of people.
As the prime minister pushed a button to mark the launch of the event, a spectacular fireworks display followed, with rock band Bunkface performing this year’s Merdeka theme song, “Kita Punya Malaysia”.
Also performing were local artists Ella, Siti Nordiana, Suki, Azlan & The Typewriter, and Atmosfera.
Present at the event tonight were Deputy Prime Minister Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo, Finance Minister Lim Guan Eng and Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow.
Gobind described Merdeka celebrations this year as historic, as they were being held under the new Pakatan Harapan government.
“The new government, along with the ministers and state leaders, are on stage tonight so that you can see them up close.
“It is my hope that the leaders can forge closer ties, better understanding, and stronger relations with the people, in a strong show of patriotism and love for the country,” he said.
He urged Malaysians to show their patriotism by flying the national flag, or the Jalur Gemilang.
Gobind said the annual National Day parade would be held at Dataran Putrajaya in Putrajaya. On Sept 16, Malaysia Day would be celebrated in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
The “Jalur Gemilang Merdeka Convoy” was also launched today, involving 60 vehicles traveling nationwide with the message of nationalism.