BERA: Tens of thousands of people attended Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s Hari Raya open house here. It was a five-hour event filled with songs and food.

“The special thing about this open house is that the food here was prepared by the community.

“Every village in the Bera parliamentary constituency was involved in the food preparation to be served at the food stalls,” the Prime Minister told reporters here yesterday.

Thirty-two food stalls were put up to allow visitors to enjoy an array of Hari Raya dishes and delicacies from the east coast, which included lemang, ketupat palas, rendang, nasi dagang and laksa lemak as well as desserts such as cendol, ice-cream and apam balik.

Ismail Sabri, who arrived at 9.35am, spent time greeting and mingling with the people who were from Bera and the nearby districts.

He thanked the public for taking the time to attend the Bera Hari Raya open house which was held at Laman Kerayong.

Ismail Sabri reminded the visitors to continue wearing a face mask when in crowded areas or when taking their food.

While enjoying their food, visitors were also entertained by Raya songs throughout the event.

After missing Hari Raya celebrations for the past two years, residents of Kampung Dato’ Sri Hamzah were excited and didn’t mind sacrificing their sleep when they were tasked to cook rendang for the special occasion.

Siti Faridah Jamaluddin, 50, said they started getting ready the cookware on Friday evening.

They began preparing the village’s signature rendang dish on that night itself and managed to complete it by 4am yesterday.

“We don’t mind the long hours as it pleases us to see the people appreciate our cooking.

“We want our guests to be served with nothing but the best,” she added.

Mee hoon stall operator Rahimah Mohd Salleh, 55, said the womenfolk from the surau got together on Friday night to prepare the noodle soup.

Some of them were assigned to man the stall yesterday, said Rahimah, who is from Kampung Batu Bor.

Cendol stall operator Kusmawati Wan Shah, from Kampung Paya Tateh, was honoured to be given the chance to share her family’s cendol recipe which had been her source of income for the past nine years.

Kusmawati, 35, said her children were excited as well, so they got up early in the morning to help her serve the guests yesterday.

“We were so happy to see the long queue at our cendol stall which was located near the main stage,” she said. — Bernama