The much-anticipated highlight of the Hari Raya holidays was the Raya open house hosted by Menteri Besar, Dato’ Seri Diraja Dr Zambry Abd Kadir on Wednesday, July 6. The state-level celebration, as always, was held at the MB’s official residence along Jalan Raja Dihilir, Ipoh.
Attendance was most encouraging. Over 10,000 people of all races dropped by to wish Zambry and his wife a blessed Hari Raya. Most were dressed in their traditional costumes with matching attires. It was a feast for the eyes.
Playing the perfect host, the Menteri Besar reached out to the huge crowd and greeted them individually while making his rounds from tent to tent. The young ones got the biggest thrill as they received duit raya packets from him.
“Perakeans must stay united and avoid conflicts over differences in beliefs in order to keep the state peaceful. As a leader, I can only lead while the movers are the people,” said Zambry in obvious reference to the recent Islamic State-inspired bombings in the country and around the world.
The feast, livened up by a live band, featured lemang (glutinous rice cooked in bamboo), satay, ayam masak merah (spicy tomato chicken), chicken masala, biryani, puri, jelatah (pickle), fried noodle, apam balik (pancake) and cendol (chilled dessert).
The royal entourage, consisting of Sultan Nazrin Muizzuddin Shah and Raja Permaisuri Perak, Tuanku Zara Salim; Raja Muda Perak, Raja Jaafar Raja Muda Musa and Raja Puan Besar Perak, Raja Nor Mahani Raja Shahar Shah; Raja Di Hilir Perak, Raja Iskandar Dzulkarnain Almarhum Sultan Idris Shah and Raja Puan Muda Perak, Tunku Soraya Sultan Abdul Halim, graced the occasion with their presence.
Also present were Mayor Dato’ Zamri bin Man, departmental heads, political leaders, members of non-governmental organisations and children from orphanages.