KUALA LUMPUR, Tuesday 30 August 2005 - A Tunku Abdul Rahman lookalike, in the form second-year UCSI engineering student, Hiew Thian Wai shouted “Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!” seven times at countdown to 12 noon to commemorate the historic moments on the eve of August 31 when the first Prime Minister of Malaysia made the Declaration of Independence in 1957.
Earlier, Vice President of Research and Corporate Affairs, Professor Dr. Norfadzillah Hitam, a political scientist herself, gave a brief introduction to the historical background of the Independence Day, before rendered a patriotic song, “Bahtera Merdeka."
According to Professor Norfadzillah, the late Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman shouted “Merdeka!” seven times, instead of three as is often depicted, and his palm was open all the time.
Students and staff also had the opportunity to paint the Jalur Gemilang and sang some patriotic songs together, including pieces like “KeranaMu Malaysia”, “Jalur Gemilang”, “Wawasan 2020” and “Tanggal 31.”
To add some fun to the celebration, UCSI students had the opportunity of having their faces painted with the national flag.
Since the celebration, the brainchild of the institution’s Student Affairs Office, has been incorporated as part of the Orientation programme for new students for the September intake, the “freshies” also had the opportunity to give a presentation themselves as a way to orientate them to campus life.
President of the Student Council, Dominic Luk, said the celebration is a way to encourage local students to show patriotism towards their country, besides sharing the joy of Merdeka with their fellow students from some 40 different countries.
”As students, we feel excited to be part of a national celebration which has historical significance. Individually, we are grateful for the contribution and the sacrifices of our past leaders for what they have done for us as a nation,” he said. “Without them, we would be still living under colonial rule.”
Luk said he also hopes UCSI students will uphold the good reputation of the country when they go overseas. “We represent a nation that is independent. Because of our Independence, we are on par with the rest of the world and as a nation, we can stand tall,” he said.
"Without prejudice to the rights of UCSI the information herein is correct at the time of printing and UCSI reserves the right to make amendments without prior notice."