PUTRAJAYA, Aug 31 –The National Day 2020 celebration today, though held under the new normal circumstances at Dataran Pahlawan Negara here, is a meaningful one being it at a time when the country is still struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Themed ‘Malaysia Prihatin’ (Malaysia Cares), it is held for the first time at Dataran Pahlawan Negara with attendance limited to dignitaries, security members and personnel involved to ensure the ceremony runs according to the prescribed standard operating procedures (SOP).
Those present are required to have their body temperature scanned and to register their attendance using the MySejahtera application, as well as to wear face mask as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the the seats for the dignitaries are arranged about a metre apart to ensure physical distancing.
Although Malaysians are not able to witness the country’s momentous moments directly from their usual locations every year, they have the opportunity to watch the anniversary celebration live through television screens and social media sites.
Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong Tunku Hajah Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah arrived the location at 8 am to grace the event, following which the National Anthem was played to mark the beginning of the celebration.
Their Majesties were greeted on arrival by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and wife, Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman and Communications and Multimedia Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah and his wife, Datin Norlin Shamsul Bahri.
After the national anthem ended, Their Majesties were led to the Dewan Serbaguna Dataran Pahlawan Negara, where His Majesty delivered the royal address, the second royal address by a Head of State on National Day.
The first royal address was by the fourth Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuanku Ismail Nasiruddin Shah, which was 50 years ago when the Rukun Negara was declared in 1970.
Before the royal address by Al-Sultan Abdullah, guests at the Dewan Serbaguna Dataran Pahlawan Negara was shown on a large screen a teaser of the National Day 2020 Live Broadcast by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM).
In conjunction with the National Day celebration and the 50th Anniversary of Rukun Negara, His Majesty called on the people to appreciate and safeguard the country’s independence and peace.
His Majesty said the five principles should serve as a guide and be practised by all quarters, including the country’s leaders, the government and Malaysians.
After the royal address, Al-Sultan Abdullah returned to his seat and watch the live telecast by RTM on the 2020 National Day celebration with the guests.
The programme for the celebration included a cavalry parade by personnel from various agencies while carrying the Jalur Gemilang.
The parade, from the Putra Bridge to Dataran Putra, Precinct 1, was led by Putrajaya Corporation president) Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim.
The national flag was then handed over by Malaysian Armed Forces Equestrian chairman Colonel Norazrin Shamsudin to the flag raisers, who then hoist the Jalur Gemilang.