Thursday, August 8, 2013
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor waving the crowd present at the Hari Raya Open House at Sri Perdana
It was a joyous Hari Raya celebration at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's official residence here.
Elegantly dressed in a royal blue baju Melayu, Najib, accompanied by cabinet ministers, came down to greet the public at 11am with a warm welcome.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhiyiddin Yassin and wife Puan Sri Norainee Abdul Rahman both wearing pink traditional attire, joined the line soon after.
Najib's wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, wearing a matching blue baju kurung, their daughter and her fiancee joined him an hour later, before the family moved to the dining area to entertain their guests.
The dignitaries included former ministers, ambassadors and high commissioners, governmental and non-governmental organisation leaders and prominent artistes.
Among these were former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, Datuk Seri G. Palanivel, Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor, Tan Sri Dr Rais Yatim, Datuk Seri Dr Ali Hamsa and many others.
Also present were NSTP chairman Tan Sri Mohammad Jawhar Hassan and Media Prima non-independent non-executive director Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
The celebration saw more than 80,000 visitors from all walks of life making a bee line to the Seri Perdana entrance as early as 8am to get a glimpse of the country's leader.
Guests were treated to a scrumptious spread of delicacies ranging from the must have lemang and nasi himpit to the popular Chinese 'char kueh teow' and the traditional Indian 'idli'.
They were also entertained by local celebrities, including comedian Satya and singers Calvin Lau, Abby Yus, and Sri Dewi. The occasion was emceed by Angeline Tan and Satya.
Visitors were not sent home empty handed, receiving a goody pack, while children received duit raya and balloons. Housewife Lily George from Puchong was one of those who attended the event. It was her second time doing so.
“The celebration this year seemed much more organised as compared to last year. I really had a great time,” said the 61-year-old, who was there with 16 family members.
“The event truly symbolises unity and depicted the true essence of 1Malaysia. People were seen chatting and mingling around despite their racial background or status. What more could better describe our nation?”
For businessman Jaafar Saidin, 44, who came with his wife and seven children from Ipoh to meet the prime minister, this was indeed a memorable experience for his family.
“It was a great opportunity to finally meet the prime minister in person for the first time and we got to shake his hands.
“Though it was tiresome driving down to KL and queuing under the sun, it was totally worth it.”
The event also saw three generations of one particular family present to be part of the Raya spirit.
The matriarch of the family, 85-year-old Mun Choy Lin from Puchong, urged her son and grandchildren to bring her to the event after seeing the announcement on the news.
Meanwhile, French ambassador to Malaysia Martine Dorance said she loved the Malaysian culture of having open house, especially by the prime minister himself.
“It is indeed a pleasant sight to see the prime minister opening his doors to the members of the public and greeting each and everyone who were enthusiastically queuing to meet him.”
United Nations resident coordinator Michelle Gyles-McDonnough, who was present for the event for the first time, described it as an amazing and entertaining festive gathering.