Monday, February 11, 2008


Big turnout surprises organisers


Sheer human jam was the response to the 8th KK City Anniversary Cultural Extravaganza. First, KK folks packed Promenade Boulevard to see the Anniversary Street Parade. A terrific turnout that heartened and surprised the organisers. Head of State Tun Ahmadshah Abdullah and Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman —both Guests of Honour of City Mayor Datuk iliyas Ibrahim - witnessed the throngs who were ultimately treated to some spectacular fireworks. But what really surprised the organisers was when the 5,000-capacity Dewan Canslor at Universiti Malaysia Sabah was packed by paying spectators, especially the last night on Tuesday, to see the Anniversary Cultural Extravaganza which featured exotic Brazilian, Ukranian Cossacks, Spanish, Maori, Kenyan, Polish, Scottish and Irish dance troupes. No free tickets were handed out to help fill gaps, except for a smattering of invited guests, assured Wan Maria Othman Lee, DBKK Deputy Director General-cum-organising chairperson. Tun Ahmadshah was there again to witness it, so was Datuk Masidi Manjun, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment. But it was a tribute to a top rate show and high quality presentation which deserved that sort of response. Not forgetting, of course, Daily Express as the event’s official media which gave prime front page space and colour pages to orchestrate the publicity for a vision and mission as crucial as promoting respect and appreciation for cultural diversity and tolerance. We are happy it worked out with a resounding success. True, there was a hitch on the first night on Feb. 3, which stretched the show up to midnight. But an urgent 9am meeting next morning called by Wan Maria quickly turned the show around into a praiseworthy, time-disciplined endeavour over the next two nights. A judicious portfolio of the best of exotic and local dances got the crowd hooked. instead of a quick exit after the finale, hundreds of spectators rushed up to their idol dance troupes for lingering photographic opportunities — a phenomenal local affection which many dance troupe members said just made them feel so significant in Sabah. “It was a very good quality show. I hope we can see something like this every year,” remarked La Salle teacher Veronica Somasundran.