KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 16, 2015:

As the Himpunan Rakyat Bersatu rally to defend the dignity of one race moved into full swing in the city, a small gathering was held at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park to celebrate the nation’s diversity.

Over a dozen people showed up at the public park to show their support for the “Malaysians for Malaysia — a walk in the park” picnic to commemorate the nation’s 52nd birthday.

The group rejoiced and marked the occasion with servings of local food and delicacies including cekodok, sandwiches and other kuih-muihat the impromptu picnic.

The movement’s convenor, Azrul Mohd Khalib, said the gathering was held to celebrate Malaysia Day in a moderate manner.

“This would give a better image of Malaysia instead of marching and shouting vitriolic slogans.

“When we talk about the formation of Malaysia, it is really about living together and not about the dominance of one race.

“That is not the way (Malaysia’s first Prime Minister) Tunku Abdul Rahman (Putra) imagined it,” he told reporters at the picnic here today.

However, Azrul said the gathering was not held as a counter-protest to the Red Shirt rally, but as an example of what Malaysia should ideally be.

Former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s daughter Datin Marina was among those present at the gathering which started about 3pm.

In response to the Red Shirt rally, Marina said she and her friends decided to hold the “birthday party” in the park for the occasion.

“Everyone is allowed to do what he or she wants on Malaysia Day. All are allowed to gather and show what they feel as long as it is peaceful.

“Malaysia is made up of all sorts of races and all sorts of forms and expressions, and this is one of them (as) we just wanted to show a happy face.”

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