28 August 2017

The people’s parade
Media Title: The Star
Section: Nation

Some strolled, others strode. Some went the full 5km, others were content to complete the 2.2km unity walk. Many wore the event T-shirt, while some stood out with colourful traditional costumes or quirky get-up. Regardless of the pace they kept, the distance they travelled, or their appearance, every participant in the ttAnakAnakMalaysia Walk 2017 was there for one purpose: to walk for unity as a proud citizen of the country.

In unity they walked: Over 6,000 M'sians turn out to celebrate diversity 

SHAH ALAM: From royalty, captains of industry, celebrities and indigenous folk to people in general, Malaysians of all ages, creeds and colour rose early to come together in a celebration of unity during the #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk 2017. 

Even the weather cooperated when it stopped drizzling half an hour before the flag-off by Selangor Ruler Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah at Dataran Kemerdekaan here. 

More than 6,000 people, mostly wearing their #AnakAnakMalaysia T-shirts and wristbands, walked 5km around the Shah Alam city centre in a show of unity, diversity and harmony. 

Many arrived as early as 6am and the early rain yesterday failed to dampen the general enthusiasm. 

Everyone sang Negaraku with gusto, which got them all charged up for the cool morning walk. 

After the flag-off at 7.15am, Sultan Sharafuddin and Tengku Permaisuri Selangor Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin later led a 2.2km unity walk together with Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ah and his wife Datin Seri Shamsidar Taharin. 

The walk took participants past iconic buildings here such as the Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah mosque, Laman Budaya, Wet World Water Park and Shah Alam Convention Centre. 

The #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk 2017 was organised by Star Media Group (SMG) in collaboration with Eco World Development Group Bhd (EcoWorld) to mark National Day and Malaysia Day. 

SMG chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow said the turnout showed Malaysians were united in celebrating the nation's 60th year of independence. 

"Let's stand tall as Malaysians and be united, and the nation will continue to prosper," he said. 

Fu said it was an honour to have Sultan Sharafuddin and Tengku Permaisuri Norashikin grace the event and take part in the walk, which was back for a second year. 

SMG managing director and CEO Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai said it was "a really awesome morning". 

"You could see the joy on everyone's faces. I think that says it all. 

"There was a possibility of rain, but that didn't matter at all. It's so great to see Malaysians willing to wake up at 4am and band together for unity," he added. 

EcoWorld chairman Tan Sri Liew Kee Sin said the large crowd showed that Malaysia has a bright future and moderation is the wtfy to go. 

"We all believe in moderation, unity and harmony. All of us walked together and even the Sultan walked with us. Isn't that great?" he said. 

The walk's organising chairman and Eco World Foundation chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said: "This walk should leave every participant with good memories. 

"We are having similar walks in Penang and Johor after this one. When we walk together ... we are all Malaysians," he added. 

Also present were Shah Alam Mayor Datuk Ahmad Zaharin Mohd Saad, as well as corporate figures and celebrities such as Permodalan Nasional Berhad chairman Tan Sri Abdul Wahid Omar, CIMB Group chairman Datuk Seri Nazir Razak, renowned shoe designer Datuk Jimmy Choo, former national footballers Datuk Santokh Singh and Datuk Soh Chin Aim, actress Maya Karin, national badminton star Goh Liu Ying, national squash player Low Wee Wern and Zubedy founder Anas Zubedy. 

Most of the participants made it back to the finish line at 8.30am and were later entertained with an energetic performance by the EcoWorld Symphony Drummers. 

The EcoWorld Choir and Team EcoWorld then delivered a specially composed number, Anak-Anak Malaysia, Anak-Anak Gembira. 

Intan Syahizatty Abdul Hamid, 24, an officer with the e-government services provider MyEG, won the top prize of a brand new Proton Iriz 1.6L Premium CVT in the lucky draw. 

Sponsors of this year's walk included CIMB Foundation (gold sponsor), Panasonic (silver sponsor) and Proton (car sponsor). 

This year, a record one million #AnakAnakMalaysia wristbands designed by local cartoonist Reggie Lee will be distributed for free nationwide. 

The #AnakAnakMalaysia campaign started in 2015 with 500,000 wristbands being handed out. 

Last year, it took a step further when it introduced the #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk in Kuala Lumpur, drawing a turnout of over 5,000 Malaysians, and gave out 850,000 wristbands nationwide. 

'Mr Durian' turns many heads with fruity get-up 

SHAH ALAM: With his durian hat and durian-skin bow tie, Lee Chee Kwang was an instant celebrity at the #AnakAnakMalaysia Walk 2017. 

The 55-year-old lawyer was more than happy to pose for photographs with many participants who approached him. 

Lee also pushed his bicycle along throughout the walk, blasting various tunes from his portable speaker, ranging from Tamil music to Bugis and Sarawakian songs. 

"I wanted to celebrate Malaysia's uniqueness and diversity in a different way and that's why I chose the durian. 

"I also hoped to inject some humour. The country needs more of that," he said. 

Another popular figure was 62-year-old retiree Jenny Lee, who came with handmade decorations and a Jalur Gemilang hat. 

"I've been so excited about this walk that I couldn't sleep for around 48 hours. 

"I was born Malaysian and I love my country. I'm really happy to be with so many people of different races, walking together. 

"This is truly what makes us all anak-anak Malaysia," she said. 

"This is truly what makes us all anak-anak Malaysia," she said. 

Eight-year-old Nur Farinnaz Sofea Mohd Ridzuan walked with pride in her Jalur Gemilang dress while waving the national flag during the walk. 

Her mother Syaflnaz Tifla, 38, who walked beside her, said the dress was designed by her niece using 20 medium-sized flags.

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