3,000 in traditional costumes at Kaamatan Festival
The state- level “Kaamatan” or Harvest Festival this year will focus on infusing cultural values in efforts to strengthen unity among the various ethnic groups. Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is also the festival’s main organising committee chairman, said the theme, “Peace Through Culture”, is aimed at making the people realise the importance of ensuring a peaceful and harmonious society. “The Kaamatan Festival is a cultural occasion where love and affection can be forged for one another, resulting in peace and unity in this multiracial society,” he said. “With the close rapport built through such events, we can all feel like we’re in one big, happy family,” he told reporters after chairing a committee meeting yesterday. Pairin said the annual celebration is part of the State Government’s efforts in preserving the various cultures of the people. He said the celebration would be launched by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman at Dewan Pa’ Musa in Beaufort on May 1. According to Pairin, some 3,000 people will be donning the traditional attires to represent the various ethnic groups that are found in Sabah. “The 3,000 people wearing the traditional attires of the various ethnic groups in Sabah is a new feature added to the programmes and will be entered in the Malaysian Book of Records,” he said, adding that the organiser is appealing for additional funds as the RM600,000 allocated by the State Government is inadequate for making the event a success. - Yang Dipertua Negeri Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah will close the month-long celebrations at the Hongkod Koisaan KDCA Hall in Penampang on May 31. The highlight will be the Unduk Ngadau or beauty contest. Pairin said district-level celebrations will also be held throughout, namely Tambunan (May 3), Keningau May 4), Lahad Datu (May 4), Tawau (May 4), Kunak (May 4), Kudat (May 6), Kinabatangan (May 8), Tongod (May 8), Inanam (May 8), Tenom (May 10), Banggi (May 10), Kota Kinabalu City (May 11), Nabawan and Pegalungan (May 11), Kota Belud (May 11), Sook (May 11),Telupid (May12), Paitan (May 12), Matunggong (May 15), Sipitang (May 15), Sandakan (May 17), Beluran (May 17), Penampang (May 7), Labuan (May 17), Semporna (May 17), Pitas (May 18), Kota Marudu (May 18). He said Tamparuli and Kiulu would be included in the Tuaran district celebration to be held on May 20, while Menumbok district would be held on May 21, Kuala Penyu (May 21), Membakut (May 21), Ranau (May 22) and Putatan (May 22).