Biennial Pesta Lawas roars back into life


LAWAS: The biennial Pesta Lawas kicked off yesterday with thrills and spills of the traditional regatta at Lawas River and crowd frenzy slowly building up in the afternoon.

It was a combination of three major festivals – Lawas Regatta, Borneo Co-Op Festival and One industry Fest – on Nov 21-13 with participation from Sabah, Brunei, Terengganu and Sarawak.

The traditional Lawas Regatta in a pit of paddling prowess was in the early days of the completion, testing the strength and weaknesses of their rivals groups on the first day of three-day battle which would culminate in the fight for the coveted ‘King of Lawas River’ title and bragging rights.

The quiet town is now a hive of activities by over 100 booth operators and the crowd is expected to turn up in full force on Saturday and Sunday.

Pesta Lawas is also a platform to build closer social and cultural interaction, business co-operation and networking and fun time for locals and visitors alike, with a blend of Borneo cultures in cultural performances from the best in Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei.

It is tailored for marketing and networking – a boost to cooperatives movement with the Co-Op Festival starting Nov 20 featuring 50 booths for co-operatives members from Brunei, Terengganu, Sabah and Sarawak to showcase their products and services while promoting networking and business opportunities for participants

The local industry promotion by the Bumiputera Entreprenuer Development unit in the Chief Minister’s Office is reflected in the 50 booths for entrepreneurs, with the district famous for its ‘Ikan Tahai’ (smoked fish)

Another interesting feature is the array of products showcasing fine artistry of local knife manufacturing cottage industry.

Alim Bakar of Kampung Pangi, when met at one of the booths, said the products were from four artisans here with prices ranging from RM100 to RM3,000.

Different types of wood, eye-catching designs, size and combination of wood in finely crafted sheaths and holder are sights to behold.

The biggest knife and sheath is over one and half-metre long while others include carvings of dragon-head handle and dragon sheaths sitting on a crocodile-shaped stand.

The wide range of products include batik products from Terengganu to bottles of honey priced between RM60 and RM300 from Sabah, Lun Bawang handicrafts and beads as well as a galore of products associated with Tamu Besar Lawas awaits visitors to the expo and sales site.

Also making a comeback is the successful Lawas Kitchen where visitors are able to sample local cuisine and delicacies, boosting the food and drinks outlets to cater for the influx of visitors.

Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Adenan Satem will officiate at the opening at Lawas Waterfont today.