People from all walks of life today attended the Hari Raya open house hosted by Prime Minister Najib Razak and Cabinet ministers at Seri Perdana, the Prime Minister’s official residence, in Putrajaya.
The guests started gathering as early as 9am at the entrance to Seri Perdana.
Buggies transported senior citizens and disabled people to the tents where food and drinks were served.
The police conducted body checks and inspected the bags of the visitors.
The well-wishers were greeted by Najib, his wife Rosmah Mansor, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, and the ministers, among them Tourism and Culture Minister Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, International Trade and Industry Minister Mustapa Mohamed and Works Minister Fadillah Yusof.
The heat of the sun did not melt the excitement of the people who waited patiently in queue to exchange Aidilfitri greetings with the hosts.
Najib, clad in a red-orange ‘Baju Melayu’, and Rosmah as well as the Cabinet ministers arrived at noon and began greeting the guests, among them leaders of political parties, foreign diplomats, NGO representatives and corporate leaders.
The Seri Perdana grounds were transformed into a sea of people who took the opportunity to exchange greetings and take photographs with Najib, who appeared resplendent in his Baju Melayu.
The well-wishers were served a variety of food, mostly local delicacies such as satay, rendang, lemang, ketupat and nasi himpit, and handed goodies packs while children were given ‘duit raya’ (money packets).
A free shuttle bus service was provided to pick up and drop off people at three locations, namely Putrajaya Sentral, Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque and Putra Mosque, at 15-minute intervals.
Meanwhile, The Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Sultan Muhammad V, attended a Hari Raya feast at Istana Negara.
The reception, held at the Main Banquet Hall of Istana Negara, was attended by members of the royalty, Cabinet ministers and foreign diplomats.
His Majesty exchanged greetings with the guests.
Earlier, His Majesty granted an audience to Najib, and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, and Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid.
Sultan Muhammad V had performed Aidilfitri prayers at the Federal Territory Mosque.
Overall, fine weather greeted Muslims in the country as they ushered in Hari Raya by attending prayers at mosques and surau, holding ‘open house’ and visiting relatives and friends. The rain in isolated areas was welcomed as a divine blessing.
Many Muslims celebrated Hari Raya in their hometowns and villages, having returned there over the past few days up to yesterday. They were also joined in the exodus by non-Muslims taking advantage of the long holiday.
Motorists found that their vehicles could devour more kilometres per litre, thanks to the drop in fuel prices over the past two weeks, with RON95 now at RM1.91 per litre. Those hitting the road today had the advantage of benefiting from discounts in the toll rate.
The government had also helped the people celebrate Aidilfitri in a slightly bigger way. All civil servants received a special Aidilfitri allowance of RM500 earlier this month. Pensioners were not left out either; they received RM250.
The usual festive period price control scheme had enabled the prices of several essential goods to be kept at reasonable levels and more economical for the people. –Bernama