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September 2, 2003

Deaf pupils lack rhythm but not spirit in Taiping parade

From: Star, Malaysia - Sep 2, 2003

TAIPING: The marching of the deaf pupils from Sekolah Pendidikan Khas Taiping may not be as impressive as that of other contingents at the district-level National Day parade but they were definitely not lacking in spirit.

Unlike the other 69 contingents, which were marching smartly with vocal cues from their leaders, the deaf pupils were out of step for much of the parade yesterday.

Despite a downpour earlier in the morning, all but two of the 20-odd members of the school's contingent turned up for the event.

"This is their first participation in a National Day parade but they have made an appearance at the district co-curriculum gathering a few months ago," said school senior assistant Abu Bakar Awang, who accompanied the pupils.

Another teacher, Imam Bibi Tofil Mohd, was using sign language to interpret for the pupils the patriotic songs played when the parade ended at Dataran Perbandaran.

Larut Matang and Selama district officer Mahmud Morsidi said he was proud of the good turnout despite the rain but lamented the lack of Jalur Gemilang flown in town.

"I don't know the reason why not many Jalur Gemilang are being raised but it is not too late for shopkeepers and residents to do that," he said, noting that the National Day celebration only ends mid this month.

The highlights of the gathering were a cultural dance by Kemas kindergarten preschoolers, a silatdemonstration and a brass band performance by SMJK(C) Hua Lian students.

Mejar (Rtd) Mohd Khalid Abdul Hamid and Hanafiah Abdul Rahman, both in their 80s, were presented with the Tokoh Kemerdekaan award.

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