PENAMPANG – The cooperation, participation and commitment of all races and ethnic groups in making the Kaamatan (Harvest) Festival a success, not only enhances unity, but also enable them understand the heritage and treasures of other races, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said.
He said although the festival was traditionally celebrated by the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut communities, people of other races also joined in the celebration, hence displaying the racial harmony that existed in the state.
“This is proof of our success in living together and is the best example of the plural society in Sabah who have all the while live together in peace and harmony.
“Apart from that, efforts like this are also good for tourism. Tourists can see the spirit of togetherness among us, despite our different cultural and religious background,” he said at the closing of the state-level Harvest Festival here Sunday.
The closing ceremony was officiated by the Yang Dipertua of Sabah Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.
In a related development, Musa said the Sabah government would not hesitate to consider requests from any quarters to unite the people as they could further strengthen unity among the people of various races and beliefs in the state.
On a claim that many people went to the Harvest Festival to watch the Unduk Ngadau competition (beauty queen contest), Musa said the contest was part of the culture of the Kadazan, Dusun and Murut people in memory of Princess Huminodun who sacrificed herself so that the people could enjoy a good harvest and life.
“There is nothing wrong with appreciating ‘sumandak-sumandak’ (ladies) who are not only beautiful, but also talented and educated, which is what we want for all our girls,” he said. – BERNAMA