About 5,000 people came to watch the parade at Dataran Sibu here today to mark Sarawak Head of State Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud’s 79th birthday.
Some among the crowd came as early as 6 am to join the birthday celebration which is Abdul Taib’s first, since becoming the seventh Yang Di-Pertua Negeri Sarawak on March 1, 2014.
Abdul Taib and his consort Toh Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib arrived at the grandstand at 8.00 am and were greeted by Chief Minister Tan Sri Adenan Satem to the sound of seven cannon shots.
The parade comprising 108 contingents led by the Sibu-based 9th Infantry Brigade was followed by a float of two speedboats from the Sarawak Rivers Board, three sea vessels from the Marine Department and four express boats owned by Bot Ekspres Sibu.
Superbikes, motorcycles and cars trailed in convoy, while about 1,000 school students took part in the field performances.
The head of state and his consort left the venue accompanied by Adenan and his wife Datin Patinggi Jamilah Anu at 10.30 am for the state decorations conferment ceremony.
Last night, Abdul Taib and his consort attended a thanksgiving ceremony at Masjid An-Nur Sibu.