123 MAF Veterans join 2023 National Day Parade
PUTRAJAYA, (Bernama) — Dedication and devotion to the country will persist no matter in what way as long as one breathes.
This perfectly captures the spirit of 123 veteran members of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) joining the procession and parade for the 2023 National Day at Dataran Putrajaya.
MAF Veteran Administration Manager, Captain (Rtd) Abdul Rahman Mat Yatib, said that although the majority of the parade participants are senior citizens, their determination displayed during the three days of training was truly remarkable.
“This is our service post-retirement. Even though we can’t physically contribute to national defence, our commitment is showcased through this event.
“To be able to walk briefly on the parade stage is enough for us. As veterans, we take immense pride in joining this parade, even though we left the MAF service a long time ago,” he told Bernama during the National Day parade’s rehearsal here today.
Abdul Rahman, who is also the contingent coordinator, said that the parade involving 103 male veterans and 20 female veterans had been confirmed to be in good health during the selection of participants at both the state and national levels.
“God willing, we chose the healthy and best candidates even though they were over 60 years old. They can still walk well during the parade and throughout the rehearsal.
“We initially limited it to those aged 65, but because of their exceptional enthusiasm, a few older individuals applied and were selected to join the parade. The oldest among them is 71 years old,” he explained.
Meanwhile, Warrant Officer 1, Mohd Norizan Mohd Nor, 71, proudly said that his choice to volunteer for the parade involving all three branches of the MAF service — land, sea, and air — was approved by the selection committee.
Even though he retired from the Malaysian Army 26 years ago, he continues to closely follow its progress and developments and is determined to participate in the parade during the nation’s 66th celebration.
“It’s an honour that my application was approved, and I received an invitation to join since not everyone can participate in this parade. So, when I was selected, it brought much happiness to me and one that can be remembered by people for this independence celebration,” said Mohd Norizan who began his service in 1971 and ended at the Malaysian Army Logistics Headquarters in Kementah Camp, Kuala Lumpur in 1997.
Unable to hold back his tears, Mohd Norizan takes pride as an armed forces personnel and hoped there would be continued progress and that the country’s defence will persist in excellence.
Motivated by her passion for marching events and parades, Sergeant (Rtd) Muhaini Kadim, aged 64, the only female veteran participant from the Royal Malaysian Navy service branch, decided to take part in this year’s independence parade.
“One must possess a strong interest and a high level of commitment to be a part of this parade. Alhamdulillah, we managed to follow the instructions diligently, with everyone being punctual and participating in daily training. On a personal note, I take pride in marching in this parade for the country.
“During this event, we also had the opportunity to reunite with friends from our past service, after almost 20 years of not seeing each other,” added Muhaini who has been a participant in the MAF veteran parade since 2011.
The 123 MAF veterans are among over 16,000 participants from 67 groups joining the 2023 National Day parade under the theme “Malaysia MADANI: Tekad Perpaduan, Penuhi Harapan” (Malaysia MADANI: Unity Aspirations Fulfilled) in Putrajaya on Aug 31.
Around 100,000 visitors are expected, and various parties, including government agencies, government-linked companies (GLCs), private sector, and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), are working together to ensure the success of the National Day 2023 celebration.