National Day 2018 crowd expresses love for Malaysia

Many came with their families to watch the Merdeka parade in Putrajaya. (Bernama pic)

PUTRAJAYA: Patriotic Malaysians displayed the spirit of “Sayangi Malaysiaku” (Love My Malaysia) at Dataran Putrajaya here as they were willing to spend their time and money to attend the National Day 2018 parade and procession in the early hours today.

Traffic became congested in the vicinity of the venue, Dataran Putrajaya from as early as 5.30am.

The estimated 300,000-strong crowd, most of whom came to spend quality time with their families, brought along the Jalur Gemilang (national flag) besides wearing clothes and accessories featuring the flag.

A housewife, who gave her name as Suan, 54, came all the way from Ampang for the first-hand experience of the historic celebration.

“I could feel the excitement as the multiracial ‘rakyat’ (people) gathered in one place to wave the flags together,” she said, accompanied by her husband, Tony Yao, and her two sons.

Suan said all these years, she only watched the National Day parade on television, but this year she was inspired to wake up as early as 5am to capture the beautiful moments and chant “Merdeka” (independence) together with other Malaysians.

A private sector employee, Albert Ponniah, 39, from Kajang, said this was the first time he and his children were attending the celebration.

“I want to instil the spirit of patriotism in my children and for them to take a closer look at this event. I am also very excited to witness this year’s parade,” said Albert, who came with his six-year-old twin sons and other relatives.

The National Day 2018 visitors also took the opportunity to snap selfies with the background of the iconic building of the Palace of Justice and various ministry buildings.

They also seemed eager to take photos with army and police vehicles that took part in the parade.

A total of 12,295 participants were involved in the parade today.