Malaysia marks 62nd Independence Day with grandeur

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Malaysian schoolchildren wave national flags during the country’s National Day celebration parade in Putrajaya on August 31, 2019. Malaysia on August 31 celebrated its 62nd National Day marking the country’s independence from British colonial rule. AFP

PUTRAJAYA, Malaysia, (Xinhua) – Malaysia held a grand celebration here to mark the 62nd anniversary of the country’s independence on Saturday.

Malaysia’s King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah officiated the parade at the administration center of Putrajaya, being joined by Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and members of his cabinet, with the parade being flagged off with the raising of the national flag and the gun salute.

More than 14,000 participants were involved in the 2019 National Day Parade themed “A Clean Malaysia,” in line with the government’s efforts to combat corruption and instill values of integrity and good governance.

The parade included 34 contingents from the police and the three branches of the Malaysian defence forces and several government ministries and civil society and student groups, according to the Information Department.

The Malaysian Air Force performed a fly-past and aerobatic show involving its fighter jets. The airspace near Kuala Lumpur International Airport, located near Putrajaya, was temporarily closed to facilitate the performance.

In a speech delivered Friday evening ahead of the National Day, Dr Mahathir urged his countrymen to unite to make Malaysia a prosperous, dignified and independent nation.

“The Vision of Mutual Prosperity is an effort to make Malaysia a country that is constantly developing along with fair and inclusive economic distribution at every level of the value chain, class, race and geography to create a sense of place harmony and stability among the people through 2030,” he said.

“It is being done with the objective of making Malaysia greater and one of the important economic axes in Asia.”

On Aug. 31, 1957, the then Federation of Malaya achieved independence. In 1963, it was reconstituted as Malaysia after being joined by Singapore, North Borneo (renamed as Sabah) and Sarawak. Singapore withdrew from Malaysia and declared independence two years later.

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