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Shafie satisfied with preparations for 51st Merdeka parade

KUALA LUMPUR, 29 Aug 2008: Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal is impressed with the performances to be held for the 51st Merdeka Day parade at Dataran Merdeka here on Sunday.

Praising the 16,433 participants for their performance at a rehearsal today, he said the performances were more fascinating than those held previously, despite the limited budget.

The government has reduced the allocation for this year’s Merdeka celebration to only RM20 million.

The three-hour rehearsal saw the participants taking the pledge, singing the national anthem and patriotic songs and a fly-past by 14 helicopters from the armed forces, the police and the Fire and Rescue Department, each carrying a state flag.

Also participating in the parade were national badminton coach Datuk Misbun Sidek and social activist Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who are among 30 people honoured for their contributions to the country.

Asked on the poor response to flying the Jalur Gemilang, Shafie, who is the 51st Merdeka celebration national organising committee chairman, said the people should not wait for free flags to do so.

On some people flying the Jalur Gemilang upside-down, he regarded it was rude and appropriate action would be taken against those who did so. – Bernama

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