When Penang celebrates, it really celebrates. On occasion of Pakatan Rakyat’s five years of rule in Penang, the Penang state government organised a grand ‘308 anniversary’ celebration at the Esplanade on 8 March 2013.
The celebration was in three-fold. First up, at 5.30 pm, was the International Women’s Day celebration.
This was then followed by the ‘Jelajah Festival Filem‘ roadshow at 7.00pm.
Finally, the highlight of the evening – a ceramah with leaders from Pakatan Rakyat like Penang CM Lim Guan Eng and his two deputies, Mansor Othman and P Ramasamy, PAS state commissioner Salleh Man and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim.
There were more than 20 booths from various government agencies such as Penang State Tourism, Halal Penang, JKR, MPPP , Penang Women Development Corp and many more; showcasing the activities and achievements of each department and agencies for the past 5 years.
Behind the stage, the 3 political parties, DAP, PKR and PAS had set up a booth each.
People started streaming in at 5.00pm and by 9.00pm, when the ceramah was about to begin, the field was 3/4 full and it is estimate there were 20,000 people were present.
Next to the field, on the road, in front of the well-lighted City Council building, there were several stalls selling food.
Entertainment were provided with dances and songs by local performers.
There was also a ‘Best Char Koay Teow’ competition with hotels and hawkers stalls competing and Eastin Hotel came up top.
Penang picked ‘Wanita Pulau Pinang Bangkit’ (Penang Women Rising) as the theme for International Women’s Day (IWD).
Many women’s organisation were seen participating.
The ‘Jelajah Filem Festival’ see popular Malaysian artists such as Fauzi Nawawi, Normah Damanhuri (winners of the recent 25th Festival Filem Malaysia), Sheera Iskandar, Yus Raja Lawak, Tokey Jambu, Zulkifli M. Osman, making appearances.
Before the ceramah began, the crowd were entertained by singer songwriter Yassin Brothers.