KUCHING, Sept 29: Sibu will host this year’s state-level birthday celebration of the Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud from Oct 12-14.
Sarawak Public Communication Unit in the Chief Minister Department said the grand event would have six segments and would kick-start with the Majlis Kesyukuran (Thanksgiving Prayer) at Masjid An-Nur on Oct 12. There would also be `surah yassin’ recital, `zikir marhaban’ and a special `doa’.
“Similar prayers are also to be carried out by other religious institutions statewide to mark the occasion too,” said the Unit in a press statement today.
“Tun Pehin Sri Abdul Taib and his wife, Toh Puan Datuk Patinggi Raghad Kurdi Taib, will arrive at about 6.30pm at the mosque. Joining them will be Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg and his wife, Datin Patinggi Jumaa’ni Tuanku Bujang,” it added.
Cabinet ministers and local leaders are also expected to attend the religious event along with more than 1,000 people. It will end with a dinner at the same venue, with non-Muslim dignitaries and guests also invited.
On Oct 13, more than 4,000 people will take part in the grand parade and rally, which is one of the highlights of the celebrations. It will start from 8am at Dataran Sibu.
Eighty-two contingents are taking part to symbolise the governor’s age, and each contingent comprised 40 individuals drawn from the public and private sectors, non-governmental organisations, uniformed and non-uniformed bodies and students.
The event on that morning will commence as soon as Taib and his wife arrived at Dataran Sibu. They will be welcomed by minister-in-charge Dato Sri Wong Soon Koh and his wife, Datin Sri Pauline Leong, and other state leaders with a 17-gun salute.
The State Anthem will be played, followed by a welcoming performance and a `Majlis Doa’ before Taib inspects the contingents.
There will be a special fly-past performed by three Nuri helicopters bearing federal and state flags.
After that, all the contingents will perform the march past, followed by the chief minister’s speech before the Head of State is invited to perform the symbolic launching ceremony and to cut a special birthday cake.
Other interesting activities at the Dataran will be performances by 800 students, presentation of patriotic songs and other interesting items to be coordinated by the Sarawak Arts Council under the State Ministry of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youths and Sports.
After the rally and parade ended, Taib will adjourn to RH Hotel to grace the investiture ceremony, where he will present various state awards and medals to the recipients.
On the same evening, Taib and the chief minister and their spouses will attend a State Banquet at the Kingwood Hotel.
Starting at 8pm on the same evening at Dataran Sibu, members of the public must not miss a live concert that will promise an evening of entertainment featuring popular Malaysian singers. Among them are Hafiz Suib of AF fame, Zizi Kirana, Noh Salleh, Esther Thian, champion of Astro Star Quest 2013, Ricky Andrewson and many others.
Members of the public are invited to watch the concert, which is specially organised for them.
In the morning on Oct 14, Taib will attend a high tea reception at Kompleks Majlis Islam Sibu, where he will present gifts and cash to 150 underprivileged persons.
After that, he will launch the Pameran Dirgahayu exhibition at the gallery and be given a tour of the exhibition. It is a good opportunity for members of the public to visit the exhibition, which is organised by Pustaka Negeri in cooperation with the Information Department, to know better about the roles, functions and activities of the Head of State.
The exhibition will also showcase a list of all governors in Sarawak, information on Taib, photos on developments by His Excellency and his contributions towards unity and multi-racial society in Sarawak.
Taib was born on May 21, 1936. He was sworn in as the seventh governor of Sarawak on March 1, 2014. — DayakDaily