HARMONY: The music and dances, which reflected the country’s multiracial population, gave the event a strong 1Malaysia flavour
THE three-day Karnival Mesra Belia Parlimen Muar 2012, held recently at Dataran Tanjung Emas, drew a crowd of more than 20,000 people.
The carnival involved 1,000 youths in 50-odd clubs.
The event was organised by the Youth and Sports Ministry and state Youth and Sports Department and sponsored by the Muar district office and Muar parliament service centre.
Muar district officer Amran Abdul Rahman, Muar Municipal Council president Zulkiflee Abbas, department heads, community and youth leaders were at the opening ceremony.
There was a truly 1Malaysia atmosphere at the breezy Tanjung Emas when the air was sweetened by sounds of cultural music and traditional dances of all races.
Some university students and youths from Kuala Lumpur and Terengganu competed in the kayak event.
The six kilometre stretch of the Sungai Muar riverbank from the Jalan Maharani taxi/bus terminal to Tanjung Emas was packed with thousands of people who had gathered to watch the sea sports, fishing and power boat races and jet ski competitions.
There were also extreme games, battle of the bands, flying fox, wall climbing, paintball, football match, a colouring contest of 1Malaysia logo for students and a live performance by Astro artistes.
Clothing, textile, household utensils and drinks were sold at more than 50 stalls run by youths.
Deputy Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Razali Ibrahim launched the carnival by flagging off a cycling event for 100 cyclists to cover Muar district.
He said he was happy that the carnival had brought out so many youths of all races to mingle freely together. Razali, who is also member of parliament for Muar, said the carnival had achieved the objective of strengthening racial unity and harmony among youth leaders, youths and the community.
He said the programmes would help to make the 1Malaysia concept a reality.
"The healthy activities will create a new generation of strong and responsible Malaysian youths who are able to overcome social and criminal problems.
"We want to develop an educated society where dedicated youth leaders can bring benefits to the people."
Mohd Helmi Sani, an officer in charge of Rakan Muda programmes in the Muar Youth and Sports Department, said the carnival brought together rural and urban youths which allowed them to exchange views and enrich themselves.
He said this would encourage the setting up of more youth organisations which adhered to the 1Malaysia concept.
Shafie Samian, who headed the amalgamation of youth clubs, said he was delighted that his dream of having a large gathering had come true.
He said this was made possible by the cooperation and support of the youths.
"They went all out to achieve the objective of bringing youths of all races together to understand each other more deeply for a better tomorrow."
Female youth leader Nurain Norasikin said the event should be held annually and include programmes such as fashion, makeup and modern attire shows for women.
"I want more women to be exposed to current affairs and needs."