KOTA KINABALU: Malaysia Day tomorrow will once again be celebrated in the new norm and in strict compliance with the standard operating procedures (SOPs) as the country is still facing the COVID-19 pandemic.

The celebration, themed 'Malaysia Prihatin' (Malaysia Cares), will be held at the Sipadan Hall of the Sabah International Convention Centre (SICC) and attended by Sabah Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin and his wife, Toh Puan Norlidah R.M. Jasni.

The event, which is scheduled to begin at 8.35 pm, will also be attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor, Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan and his wife, Datuk Dayang Morliah Datuk Awang Daud.

Communications and Multimedia Minister Tan Sri Annuar Musa and Sabah deputy chief Minister Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, who are joint-chairman of the Malaysia Day 2021 Organising Committee, are also set to attend.

The celebration, which will be attended by 339 guests, including media representatives, will kickstart with the rendition of the national and state anthems - NegaraKu and Sabah Tanah Airku - respectively, the Sabah Maju Jaya song and a welcoming performance followed by a welcoming speech by the joint chairmen of the organising committee.

Hajiji Noor is also expected to make a speech followed by an address by Ismail Sabri, which will then be followed by a special Malaysia Day Celebration book-signing ceremony.

According to the celebration's programme, there will also be a Malaysia Prihatin montage display, as well as a special performance by artistes from the Sabah State Cultural Board.

This year's Malaysia Day celebration is the first under the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government led by Hajiji, who was appointed the 16th Sabah Chief Minister on Sept 29 last year.

Meanwhile, Sabah state secretary Datuk Safar Untong said they have been holding rehearsals since Monday to ensure the programme would run smoothly.

Malaysia Day is celebrated to commemorate the establishment of the Malaysian federation on that date in 1963.