Students wave national flags during the 65th National Day celebrations at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on Aug 31, 2022. (VONCENT THIAN / AP)
KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia marked the 65th anniversary of its independence on Wednesday with large-scale celebrations following two years of muted celebrations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The main celebration event of the National Day was held at the historical Dataran Merdeka, or Independence Square, in the capital Kuala Lumpur, and attended by tens of thousands of people.
It is a shared responsibility of all to not only preserve and protect national harmony that we have enjoyed so far but also to nurture it among ourselves as a Malaysian Family.
The National Palace
Malaysian King Sultan Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob and other government officials oversaw the parade at the square, which included the marching contingent of members of the country's armed forces.
In a statement on the eve of the anniversary, the National Palace said social solidarity, national integration and racial unity are keys to national harmony, prosperity and well-being.
"It is a shared responsibility of all to not only preserve and protect national harmony that we have enjoyed so far but also to nurture it among ourselves as a Malaysian Family," it said.
"If the people stay united, play their roles and hold fast to the keys, then we will be able to curb those groups or extremists who sow seeds of divisiveness and fan the flames of racism to cause disharmony in the country for personal gain," it added.
In a televised address on Tuesday night, Ismail Sabri urged Malaysians to continue to work together and remain united to defend the nation's peace and independence.
"In the context of brotherhood, relatives are cared for; in the context of family, family members are protected; in the context of community, the community is safeguarded; in the context of a nation, racial unity is key; indeed, we are all one family," he said.