Malaysia celebrates 66th anniversary of independence

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Malaysia celebrated the 66th anniversary of its independence with parades, fireworks and large scale gatherings on Thursday under the theme of unifying ties between its diverse groups.

Shortly after midnight Wednesday, thousands of Malaysians marked the occasion through the singing of patriotic songs and other activities, with the festivities culminating in a parade overseen by King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah at the administration center of Putrajaya on Thursday morning.

The Malaysian monarch was joined by Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim, members of the cabinet and other officials, with thousands of military and civilian personnel participating in the parade besides dancers and other performers.

In a message to the people, Sultan Abdullah reminded Malaysians that unity is key to harmony, wellbeing of the people and the Southeast Asian country.

“In fact, this strong unity is also the main key to the stability and prosperity of the country, as well as the seed and source of strength for us to face any current and future challenges,” he said.

“Therefore, it is a joint responsibility of the leaders and the people to not only preserve and strengthen the harmony and unity that has been achieved but also to fuel it among us,” he added.

On Aug. 31, 1957, the then Federation of Malaya gained independence from British rule.

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