“I was one of the thousands of Malaysians celebrating the declaration of Malaysian independence from colonial powers on the morning of Aug 31, 1957,” former director-general of the National Sports Council, Noh Abdullah says.
Noh, 84, who was an undergraduate student at the University of Malaya in Singapore at the time, recalled from memory that he took the night train from the Tanjung Pagar railway station, Singapore, on the day before, to his late brother’s residence in Seremban.
“Early morning on Aug 31, the three of us – my brother (Ali Abdullah), sister-in-law (Nurihan Salehuddin) and I – left Seremban by car at 4.30am and arrived at the Merdeka stadium at about 6am,” he told Bernama after witnessing the National Day parade at Dataran Merdeka, here today.
“I still remember feeling extremely proud of our country when I responded to Tunku’s (Abdul Rahman) three shouts of Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!,” he said.
Noh, who is currently the Baseball Federation of Malaysia president, said he was filled with pride when he saw the Merdeka stadium filled at full capacity on that historic day.
Noh said that the experience and the sweet memories of the morning of Aug 31 are still vivid as it was to this day.
“I wish for younger generations nowadays to not forget about national pride. It was an honour for me to witness such a historic event this day 59 years ago, and I hope the Merdeka spirit among Malaysians will remain unbroken,” he said.
Despite the early morning drizzle, passion and love for the country were clearly illustrated today when thousands of Malaysians from all walks of life gathered to celebrate the 2016 National Day parade here.
The event saw about 14,500 people taking part in this year’s parade, including contingents from the public sector, private sector, states and students.