PUTRAJAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Malaysia's 62nd National Day celebrations kicked off in grand fashion on Saturday (Aug 31), with tens of thousands of peole gathered around Persiaran Perdana in Putrajaya to witness the annual parade.
Malaysia's King Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin and Queen, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah Sultan Iskandar, arrived at the venue at 8am.
They royal couple were greeted by Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and wife Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali, before they were led to the main stage.
This is the first year Sultan Abdullah is attending the national day celebrations as King, following his appointment on Jan 31.
Earlier, Tun Dr Mahathir's arrival at 7.50am was greeted with rousing applause.
The 94-year-old delighted the crowd as he was seen driving a maroon Proton Saga to the main stage.
Also among the VIPs there were Deputy Prime Minister Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Multimedia and Communications Minister Gobind Singh Deo, other Cabinet ministers as well as foreign dignitaries.
People came as early as 6am to the administrative capital in view of the anticipated road closures and traffic congestion.
For two years in a row, the National Day celebrations have been organised at Putrajaya, away from the usual location of Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur.
After the historic change of government in May 2018, the Pakatan Harapan administration decided to host the Merdeka Day parade in Putrajaya.
The theme of this year's celebration is "Sayangi Malaysiaku: Malaysia Bersih" (Love My Malaysia: A Clean Malaysia).