Merdeka Day celebrations in Ipoh this year started on the eve of the day.
At Ipoh Garden East, behind of Kinta City/Jusco, DAP held a ceramah perdana at the Canning State Constituency under State Assemblyman, Wong Kah Woh who is part of the Ipoh East constituency under MP Lim Lit Siang.
Without a doubt the VVIP for the night was Lim Kit Siang himself. The crowd turnout for the night was over 300 by the time Lim showed up.
Lim, in his usual style, started his speech by asking the crowd, “Are we ready for change?” (3x) He received a thunderous and positive response. Another notable speaker was MP for Petaling Jaya Utara and DAP National Publicity Secretary, Tony Pua.
Two hours earlier at OMPH Church during their Merdeka Mass, the congregation presented the ‘Jalur Gemilang’ for their offertory.
The next day at the colorful and elaborate state-level Merdeka parade, held at Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab it was the annual Merdeka festive atmosphere.
Over 10,000 residents and families gathered early to witness the march pass by 87 contingents consisting of security forces, government agencies, schools, retirees and pensioners and voluntary associations, amongst others.
The event was graced by the Regent of Perak, Raja Nazrin Shah and Raja Puan Besar Perak Tuanku Zara Salim, Chief Minister Dato Seri DiRaja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir and Datin Seri DiRaja Saripah Zulkifli.
The contingents on parade were a rich mixture of colour which did much to enhance the general mood of the participants.
The 13th General Election may loom ominously on the horizon but you can’t deny the fact that democracy, ala Malaysian style, is a “healthy democracy at work”.
And judging by the many joyful faces at the parade, it is working. It may not be perfect but it is working, warts and all.