Family steps out for Merdeka in style with Jalur Gemilang

KUALA LUMPUR: A family of four clad in various Jalur Gemilang-themed outfits caught everyone’s attention at a picnic attended by former prime minister Najib Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor at the Kuala Lumpur Botanic Gardens.

Zihaza Sabila, 34, her husband Ahmad Nazmie, 36, and their two children Putra Ahmad Sabil, 9 and Putra A’ish, 4, were dressed in different designs.

The family has made it a point to dress in the Jalur Gemilang on Aug 31 for the past five years.

“The first time we started doing this, I wore a baju kurung. Subsequent themes were Harry Potter, magician, Indian and Punjabi, and the kebaya.

“This year, we focused a bit more on the children’s outfits,” Zihaza said, pointing towards her children who wore warrior-themed outfits.

The businesswoman said she would think of a theme every year, even searching websites for ideas. Once she decided on a theme, she would give the design ideas to a tailor who would then customise the outfits.

The family would spend between RM700 and RM800 for the outfits to be tailored, Zihaza said.

Zihaza Sabila.

On why she decided to do something like this, she said she wanted to instil in her children the spirit of patriotism, and to make them understand how difficult it was for the country to achieve its independence.

“We want them to know how our leaders back then had fought for our country’s independence, that it was not an easy task.

“Furthermore, this is only done once a year. I don’t see anything wrong for us to celebrate Merdeka in this manner just once a year.

“The children themselves get excited every time Merdeka draws near. They will be very curious as to the theme of their Jalur Gemilang outfits,” he said.

Asked for their hopes for their country, now under a new government, Ahmad said they hoped the government would steer the country in the right direction and care for the welfare of all Malaysians.

“I hope they will continue to carry out initiatives for the benefit of all Malaysians,” he added.

Over 100 people gathered at the popular park to join Najib and Rosmah for the picnic, organised by their supporters.

Comprising mostly families, they converged on the Bamboo Playhouse, bringing with them their own food and beverage, as well as picnic mats.