The fine weather in the evening beckoned over 10,000 people to the event grounds on the day of the highly anticipated parade which made its comeback after 10 years of absence, as the last floating parade was held in 2013 to commemorate the 50th Malaysia Day celebration.
A total of 20 decorated boats comprising 12 ministries and eight agencies took part in the parade. Jet skis and ‘perahu tambang’ also joined in.
Present to experience the very meaningful event especially for Sarawakians was Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg and entourage who arrived at the event grounds at 8.20pm.
Upon arrival, Abang Johari and his entourage including wife Datuk Amar Juma’ani Tun Tuanku Bujang, his deputies Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah and Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian; Minister of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Dato Sri Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah, State Legislative Assembly (DUN) speaker Tan Sri Datuk Amar Mohammad Asfia Awang Nasar, and Sarawak State Secretary Datuk Amar Mohamad Abu Bakar Marzuki were welcomed by other distinguished guests with some wearing special batik clothing to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Sarawak’s independence.
The entourage was then led to the VVIP sitting area to be mesmerised by a cultural dance performance by Kesuma Tari group under the supervision of the Sarawak Arts Council.
Prior to the parade, a symbolic opening coordinated by Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) in collaboration with the Royal Malaysia Police, Bahagian Teknikal Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak and Onex Advert Resources was held, which saw Abang Johari pressed a button to officiate the parade and massive fireworks show.
Shortly after, a jet ski performance was performed by Jetski Association followed by perahu tambang parade, as well as float of the Sarawak Coastguard who also helped in safeguarding the 20 floats for the parade.
The main event then began with Sarawak Premier’s Department float making its appearance as the first team to lead the rest of the teams from Pengkalan Abok, accompanied by background music.
The floats parade continued with Ministry of Urban Development and Natural Resources (MUDeNR), Ministry of Utility and Telecommunications (MUT), Ministry of Tourism, Creative Industry and Performing Arts Sarawak (MTCP), Ministry of Infrastructure and Port Development (MIPD), Ministry of Youth, Sports and Entrepreneur Development Sarawak (MYSED), Ministry of Public Health, Housing and Local Government (MPHLG), Ministry of Food Industry, Commodity and Regional Development (MFICORD), Ministry of Education, Innovation and Talent Development (MEITD) and Ministry of International Trade and Industry, Industrial Terminal and Entrepreneur Development (Mintred) and Ministry of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development (KPWK).
Ministry of Energy and Environmental Sustainability (MEESty), Sarawak Energy Berhad (SEB), Bintulu Port Holdings Berhad, Samling Timber Malaysia, Shin Yang Group of Companies, Kuching North City Commission (DBKU), Sarawak Economic Development Corporation (SEDC), Regional Corridor Development Authority (Recoda) and Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOTS) followed.
The logo for the 60th anniversary celebration of Sarawak’s independence in Malaysia was clearly placed on each of the boats.
Synopsis for each team was read by the announcer as the decorated boats passed by in front of the VVIP stage.
Many teams made extra effort by showcasing dances, putting on various costumes and many others while waving the state flag as they sailed past the main stage.
Through the parade, the State Legislative Assembly (DUN) Complex, Darul Hana Bridge, as well as the flagpole were illuminated with colorful lights, accompanied by the Darul Hana Musical Fountain as part of the event.
Team Samling Timber Malaysia had the best decorated float for which it won RM10,000.
Second place went to Sarawak Premier’s Department which received RM7,000, while third-placed Ministry of Transport Sarawak (MOTS) received RM5,000.
There were also seven consolation prizes amounting to RM3,000 each.
Also placed in the Top 10 were MPHLG, DBKU, Recoda, Mysed, SEDC, MUT and MIPD.
The Top 10 floats are anchored in front of Kuching Waterfront today (July 30) to be viewed by members of the public, giving the opportunity for them to closely observe the floats.
The evening ended with a finale performance by the Jetski Association.
All present later joined in the singing of Sarawak Maju Makmur theme song, as well as stage performances from local powerhouse singers including Sarawak-born artistes Hafiz Suip and Dayang Nurfaizah.
Petronas was the fuel sponsor for the event.