By Ravichandran D.J Paul
LONDON, June 16 (Bernama) -- Hundreds of people today thronged the Malaysian High Commission’s Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house function at the High Commisioner's residence in Templewood Gardens, here.
The presence of Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is here on a three-day working visit to the United Kingdom (UK), added glitter to the event.
Also present were Dr Mahathir’s wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali, Foreign Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah, Youth and Sports Minister Syed Sadiq Abdul Rahman. Also present was Dr Mahathir's daughter Marina.
Guests, comprising Malaysians and foreigners, were feted to Malaysian delicacies, among others, ‘satay’, ‘ketupat’, ‘lemang’, chicken rice, ‘raya’ cakes and ‘teh tarik’. The guests did not miss the opportunity to greet Dr Mahathir and snap photos before he left for Cambridge to deliver a talk for Cambridge Union.
Malaysian High Commissioner to the UK Datuk Mohamad Sadik Kethergany told the Malaysian media that about 3,000 people were expected for the do today.
Dr Mahathir, in welcoming the guests, said he was surprised to see so many Malaysians residing in London.
"Dear Malaysians come back and help us to rebuild Malaysia," he told the ecstatic crowd who were eager to meet him.
Meanwhile, Qaisy Jaslenda, who had been working as an architect in London for the last three-and-a-half years, said the raya open house helped to rekindle the Malaysian spirit.
Qaisy, who hailed from Shah Alam, said he was proud to be a Malaysian.
"People who saw me walking here in my Baju Melayu and kain sampin said I looked great," he said proudly of the Malaysian heritage.
Balqis Azhar from Gombak, a third year law student at Queen Mary University of London, said the event provided the opportunity for Malaysians to gather or to rekindle friendships.
Both Qaisy and Balqis said the event provided the "feeling at home, though faraway from home".
Wai Lun (he), a post graduate student at Birkbeck, University of London, said that he loved the Malaysian atmosphere at the event.
The Kuala Lumpur youth is doing a masters degree in accounting and finance.