By Mahadhir bin Monihuldin
GOMBAK, 31 August 2017: Passionate chants of the word ‘Merdeka!’ were heard from the main hall of IIUM’s Cultural Centre on Tuesday (29 August) as the IIUM community celebrates the official launching of the Merdeka Month 2017 as well as the 60th Independence of Malaysia.
The event featured very moving ‘sajak’ and ‘pidato’ performances by two students of IIUM who both touched on the fundamental meaning of Merdeka. Both performances immediately got the audience into a patriotic mood.
Admirable speeches were given by the Rector of IIUM, Dato’ Sri Dr. Zaleha Kamarudin, as well as the President of IIUM, Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim, who requested each and every one from the crowd to stand up from their seats and shout ‘Merdeka!’ along with him before speaking.
The follow up from that was the symbolic commencement of the Merdeka Month 2017 with Tan Sri Rais Yatim inserting a portrait of the Malaysian flag with the phrase ‘Negaraku: Sehati Sejiwa’ written below it into the surface of a translucent glassed panel.
Then came the announcement of the winners of the IIUM Patriotic Song Competition which saw Tan Sri Rais Yatim handing out a prize of RM1000 to lecturers from the Kulliyyah of Engineering who won first place.
A prize was also handed out to the winner of the Best Dressed Award which went to a member of IIUM who donned a dress glowing with the colours of the Malaysian flag from head to toe.
Finally, the event concluded with the joyful song of the national anthem played in the hall. Everyone sang along courageously while waving the Malaysian flag full of pride.***