More than 100,000 throng Seri Perdana
PUTRAJAYA, Aug 19 — The Hari Raya mood was overwhelming as more than 100,000 visitors thronged Seri Perdana, the Prime Minister's official residence here, to attend the open house hosted by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Cabinet ministers.
The crowd had begun queuing since 9am to extend their greetings to Najib and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and the ministers. The open house was scheduled from 10.30am until 4pm.
Also present were Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and his wife, Puan Sri Noorainee Abdul Rahman, and Information Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.
Visitors had greeted the Prime Minister and among the dignitaries who turned up at the event were former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, as well as Tun Musa Hitam, a former Deputy Prime Minister.
Najib looked dashing in a dark pink Baju Melayu while Rosmah wore an orange baju kurung.
The Seri Perdana ground was transformed into a sea of people as those from all walks of life, took the rare opportunity to meet the country's top leader.
There were also diplomats and leaders from both sides of the political divide, tourists as well as Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) officials.
Among those spotted greeting Najib and other Cabinet ministers were Malaysia's London Olympics silver-medallist, Datuk Lee Chong Wei and popular singer, Datuk DJ Dave.
Penang Chief Minister, Lim Guan Eng and his wife Betty Chiew and Seputeh Member of Parliament Teresa Kok, were among the opposition leaders who attended the open house.
The well-wishers were served with a variety of food, mostly local delicacies such as satay, rendang, lemang, ketupat and nasi himpit while also leaving with a goody pack with children receiving 'duit raya'.
Najib later cut a 120kg Aidilfitri and Merdeka cake at a specially set up stage in Seri Perdana, accompanied by Rosmah, Muhyiddin, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad, Tun Dr Siti Hasmah, Rais and his wife, Datin Seri Masnah
The Prime Minister also sang the Negara-Ku and 1Malaysia songs plus the Hari Raya song, 'Aidilfitri', while joining thousands of well wishers in waving the Jalur Gemilang (national flag).
Meanwhile, a tourist from Hungary, Istvan Tordai said the Hari Raya open house today was unique, as he could meet and greet the Prime Minister personally.
"This is a very unique open house. You will never see this uniqueness and celebration in a European country," he added.
An Iranian student from a private college, Ahmed Azad said it was the first time he had attended a Hari Raya open house.
"I am curious to know more about the norms and culture of the Malays. I am glad to see Malaysians of different races and religion celebrating together," he added.
However, a tourist from China, who only wanted to be known as Chen Xi, was a little disappointed as he missed the opportunity to meet and greet the Prime Minister who was at the cake cutting ceremony.
"My friend and I waited for more than two hours. But the queue was too long and we could not get in. Nevertheless, it was a good experience, being at this Hari Raya celebration at the Prime Minister's official residence," he said — Bernama