PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is confident that the New Year will bring Malaysians together to ensure the country can achieve a developed nation status by 2025.
In a brief four-minute speech prior to the New Year’s countdown at Dataran Putrajaya here, the Prime Minister said that Malaysians can greet 2019 with “good feeling and happiness”.
As the nation is about to mark its first New Year under the Pakatan Harapan administration, he said that it is imperative for all Malaysians, from all walks of life, to chart the nation’s destiny together.
“We are lucky as our country is peaceful and harmonious.
“We need to put in greater effort for 2019 so that our country can move towards a developed nation status by 2025. This is our wish,” he said.
Dr Mahathir was speaking before a crowd of 400,000 people gathered in the centre of the administrative capital last night.
Having once helmed the premiership for 22 years from 1981 before the current stint, Dr Mahathir reminded Malaysians that only together can the people bring about peace and harmony in the country.
“Together, we will work to develop the nation as this is our collective hope.
“In a short moment, we will reach the new year 2019.
“Therefore, I am wishing you Happy New Year with all happiness because we are lucky to be in this country,” he said.
After the short speech, Dr Mahathir joined the crowd in counting down to the stroke of midnight.
At midnight, cheers erupted from the audience as the night was lighted by explosion of fireworks and 3D light show beamed onto the Palace of Justice.
Dr Mahathir and the crowd then joined in singing the national anthem ‘Negaraku’ as the Palace of Justice is bathed in a bright cascading light and shapes.
The brilliant 3D display also marked the climax of the four-day Festival Light and Motion Putrajaya.
Among those present were his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad and Perbadanan Putrajaya president Datuk Dr Aminuddin Hassim.
In PENANG, hundreds of people thronged The Top Penang at Komtar for a different kind of New Year celebration.
They gathered in high spirits since 9pm for a rare New Year’s countdown held at 816 feet above sea level.
Also present at the ‘Magical Snowfall and Fireworks Countdown Party’ were Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, Only World Group Holdings Berhad founder Tan Sri Richard Koh and co-founder Puan Sri Jean Koh.
At the stroke of midnight, they witnessed the eye-catching five-minute fireworks display that was later followed by an artificial snowfall.
The crowd took this opportunity by taking selfies and wefies throughout the entire event.