All aflutter as National Day draws near

50th Independence Day parade at the historical Merdeka Square in downtown Kuala Lumpur, 31 August 3007

KOTA KINABALU - A Merdeka air is evident in the state capital with the Jalur Gemilang adorning many premises.

Among the attractions are the 800 national and Sabah flags around the 154ha Sutera Harbour Resort here, a sprawling holiday retreat that encompasses two hotels, a marina and a golf course.

Launching the Merdeka Month celebrations at the resort, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said more government departments, agencies and the private sector should emulate the resort's example.

"By flying the Jalur Gemilang, we are actually showing our love, gratitude and appreciation for the freedom that we have enjoyed over the last 56 years," he said, pointing out that this year also marked the 50th anniversary of Malaysia Day.

"We have seen many changes and achievements, not only in terms of development and economic progress but also in the improved socio-economic status and well-being of Sabahans as a whole,'' he said.

Musa Aman said the Sulu intrusion in Lahad Datu in February should serve as a reminder to all Malaysians to stay united.

The Chief Minister said the Merdeka gathering at the resort had been made more meaning- ful with the participation of a battalion from the Third Royal Malay Regi­ment, which was involved in operations against the Sulu gunmen.

In Sungai Petani, thousands of people attended the "Fly the Jalur Gemilang" programme launched by Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Dataran Zero on Friday night.

The Prime Minister also flagged off the Kembara Merdeka expedition after decking five vehicles with the Jalur Gemilang. The team will tour the country to promote patriotism among the people.

Najib said the Jalur Gemilang should be waved "with respect and deep love for the country".

He said besides understanding the importance of independence, the people should also be prepared to defend the sovereignty of the country.

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