KUCHING: The 85th birthday celebration of the Head of State Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud this morning (Oct 9) was lively despite being celebrated on a moderate scale for the second straight year.
The celebration was held at the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex with strict compliance to the standard operating procedures (SOPs).
Upon the arrival of Taib and wife Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Ragad Kurdi Taib at 10am, they were welcomed by Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister’s Department (Native Laws and Customs) Datuk John Sikie Tayai, who was representing Utilities Minister and minister in charge of the Taib’s birthday celebration, Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.
At the parade ground, the celebration took off with the ceremonial firing of the cannon and a fly-past of three helicopters by the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) to mark the arrival of Taib. At the grand stage, Taib then took the salute before the singing of the state anthem, Ibu Pertiwiku.
This was then followed by the Guard of Honour inspection which comprises 106 officers of the 4th Regiment of the Royal Armoured Corps led by Major Noredy Amin Darmin. The Guard of Honour was accompanied by the Royal Malaysian Police Sarawak Contingent band.
The event then continued with the recitation of prayer by the state Chief Imam Datuk Mustapha Kamal Ahmad Fauzi.
Before the end of the celebration, a special dance performance entitled Nada Persona Sarawak was held. The performance portrays the diversity of various races in Sarawak.
The performance was performed by a combination of local singers and dancers from the Sarawak Arts Association, Dayak Cultural Foundation, Petra Arts Group and Sarawak Performing Arts.
Also present were Abang Johari’s wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tuanku Bujang, Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, Minister of Local Government and Housing Datuk Seri Dr Sim Kui Hian, DUN Speaker Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar, state ministers and assistant ministers and other dignitaries.
After that, the celebration continued with the investiture ceremony at the DUN’s Lapau Hall, where Taib presented the state awards and medals to the recipients.
Taib’s birthday celebration began on Friday with a thanksgiving ceremony at Masjid Jamek. This will be followed by a state dinner at Borneo Convention Centre Kuching (BCCK) tonight.
Tomorrow (Oct 10), there will also be a high tea reception at the DUN Dining Hall.
The celebration will end with a P. Ramlee themed musical theatre tomorrow night at Pullman Hotel which will be broadcast live from 8.45pm to 10.15pm on TV channel 122 Astro, MYTV, and simultaneously on TVS and Sarawak Public Communication Unit’s (Ukas) Facebook channel.