Celebrating 55 years of independence with pride
IMALAYSIA FESTIVITIES: Sunway College Johor Baru celebrates Merdeka Day and Malaysia Day with great fanfare
JOHOR BARU: ABOUT 500 people took part in a Merdeka and Malaysia Day celebration entitled "PRIDE, 55 years of Independence -- Community Outreach Project" at the Sunway College Johor Baru (SCJB) campus recently.
The participants included SCJB students, their parents, staff of the college, and pupils and teachers of primary and secondary schools in the vicinity of Mount Austin, and the neighbouring Taman Daya and Johor Jaya.
The four-hour programme, which was organised by the college and the state Information Department, included activities such as Jalur Gemilang fancy dress competitions for kindergarten and primary school pupils, and traditional and modern danced by SCJB students.
Stalls displaying Malay, Chinese and Indian food, costumes, musical instruments and festival decorations were also set up by the students.
There was also an exhibition of the pictures of the leaders who fought for the country's independence, courtesy of the department.
Information Department officer Tan Wei Lee was the guest-of-honour. She was representing state Education Department director Hamdan Hasnan.
She was welcomed by SCJB principal Hor Poh Choo, senior officers and department heads.
The show kicked off with a traditional Indian dance by the college's female students.
The students, who were mostly Chinese, enthralled the crowd with their perfect coordination and fluid moves.
The routine was choreographed by a student who is trained in traditional dance.
The excitement continued when three pairs of dancers, dressed in traditional Malay costumes, performed the joget to near perfection .
This was followed by a Chinese Fan Dance.
Tan, accompanied by Hor and other VIPs, went on a brief tour of the stalls and viewed billboards of the Merdeka struggles and the formation of Malaysia in Sept, 1963.
The programme resumed with the Jalur Gemilang fancy dress competition for pre-schoolers and lower primary school children.
Contestants in category A (aged between 4 and 6) and category B (aged between 7 and 9) were required to dress up in the colours of the national flag.
In addition, category A participants were required to sing one of three songs -- Rasa Sayang, Burung Kakak Tua or Chan Mali Chan without music accompaniment.
Category B contestants were required to give a short speech beginning with the words "I love Malaysia because ...." in English.
Five-year-old Angelina Cheng who wore a blue blouse with red and white-striped sleeves and a yellow ball gown skirt was the winner in category A.
She won the hearts of the three judges with her rendition of Rasa Sayang. The first runner-up was Diong Tzye Xy, 5, and the second runner-up was Durrah Mardhiah Md Hasnol, 6.
Nur Zulaikha Zulkifli, 9, was the winner in category B. The first and second runner-ups were Tiu Yu Qin , 9, and Nur Aqilah Bt Zulkipli, 8.
"I owe this feat to my parents and my English teacher. I'm really grateful to them," Zulaikha said.
Kuan Xin Yun, 18, a Malaysian Studies student at the college said the programme was "mesmerising".
"I think everyone here enjoyed the gigs presented by the children and my fellow college mates," she said .
Hor handed the prizes to the winners of the competitions.
The college principal thanked the state Information Department, sponsors and the college's students for their support and commitment.
"Let us solidify the cordial ties among the different races and echo the good deeds of our founding fathers and move towards a better future for Malaysia," said Hor.
SCJB, a branch of the Sunway University in Petaling Jaya, is in Taman Mount Austin, Johor Baru. Established in 2005, the college has a student enrolment of 1,500.
Programmes offered include Pre-U, accounting, English language, diploma, degree and twinning courses with several foreign universities.