Celebrations for Malaysia’s 57th National Day will be toned down in respect for those who were lost in the MH17 and MH370 tragedies.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Shabery Cheek announced in an interview that Merdeka celebrations would need to be modified “as the nation is still mourning the MH17 and MH370 tragedies as well as sharing the losses suffered by families of victims”. He explained that “in the midst of the celebrations, the nation will also commemorate MH17 and MH370 tragedies as the incidents deeply affected Malaysians.”
Merdeka Day’s main attraction, the spectacular firework display, had been cancelled; such an extravagant and loud celebration is thought to be inappropriate at this time. The traditional Merdeka eve countdown will not take place this year and the parade will be slightly restrained, however, Prime Minister Najib Razak will deliver a Merdeka message to the nation from MATIC in Jalan Ampang, which will air ‘live’ on several media channels.
The day’s spirit of unity and solidarity will not be any less vigorous, regardless of these alterations to the normal programme. Malaysians from all backgrounds, race and religion will still come together to remember this important day in Malaysia’s history.
The September 16thHari Malaysia celebration in Sarawak will also be moderated.
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