PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s AidilFitri open house here saw nearly 50,000 people comprising Malaysians and people of various nationalities queuing up to wish the prime minister “Selamat Hari Raya”.
The Seri Perdana grounds were transformed into a sea of people as visitors from all walks of life took the opportunity to meet the leader of the nation.
A British couple on their honeymoon here — Rob Barker, 29, and Daphne Barker, 28 — said they were honoured to meet the prime minister, a cross-section of Malaysians, government ministers besides experiencing local hospitality.
“We found out about the open house from someone on a bus trip to Pulau Perhentian. Our visit here is definitely worth it,’ Barker said.
Three Singaporeans — Michael Khoo De Wan, 21, Joel Chong Zhi Quan, 21 and Heng Yao Rong, 21 — felt the same excitement as they met the prime minister.
“It happened so fast. We shook the prime minister’s hand and were quickly ushered out,’ Heng said.
Most of the visitors came in small clusters of family or friends. Ninety members of the Baitiangong Universal Spiritual Movement Malaysia, clad in white, came in two buses.
Their leader, Law Boon Eng, 71, said the group had been attending the prime minister’s open house every year since the 1970s.
He said the group wanted to show their respect to the prime minister and his wife and to wish them well.
Mohammad Hossein Rafiei, 50, who was looking comfortable in a black suit despite the heat, said meeting the prime minister was an important occasion for him and “wearing a suit shows that I am a gentleman”.
Five big tents and a performance stage were constructed on the field adjacent to Seri Perdana where the public was feted to an array of food, games and cultural performances.
Najib took a break from welcoming the public at his residence around 4pm to lead those who were feasting at the tents in shouts of “Merdeka” with the crowd joining in enthusiastically.
Source : New Straits Times