PENAMPANG: The state government has approved an additional allocation of RM250,000 to the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) for future Harvest Festival celebrations.
Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said he was prepared to increase the allocation as the celebration was very important and synonymous with the people of Sabah.
“I am happy at the prudent spending of the organising committee and I am prepared to increase the allocation to repair traditional houses and maintain musical equipment as requested by (Datuk Seri) Dr Maximus (Ongkili in his speech,” he said when launching a traditional sports event in conjunction with the 2013 Kaamatan Festival yesterday.
The Chief Minister was responding to a call made earlier by Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili when reading the speech of Deputy Chief Minister and Huguan Siou (Kadazandusun paramount leader) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, requesting for an additional allocation for the purpose.
The allocation approved is an additional of RM50,000 from the existing fund allocated for KDCA.
Musa in his speech said the best way to learn about the traditions and cultures of a place is through engaging with the local community in the area.
He said the Kaamatan Festival offered the public a huge range of cultural activities, and encouraged visitors to be adventurous to sample the state’s cultural presentations.
“This, of course, includes the Kadazandusun and Murut’s traditional cuisine and games as well as participating in the gong beating and Sumazau dance.
“The festival marks the Kadazan Dusun Murut community’s thanksgiving and celebration for the year’s bountiful harvest. Sabah is indeed a melting pot of different races, religions and cultures, but despite this diversity, we are still able to live together in peace and harmony, and jointly celebrate an occasion such as the Harvest Festival,” Musa noted.
Also present were the ambassador of Romania, Constantin Grigorie and his delegation, and Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz.
Meanwhile, Pairin, in his speech, said organising the traditional games would help to promote the sports played by the locals’ ancestors in the olden days.
“Apart from reliving history, the younger generation will be able to participate and be part of the activity which once was played by their great grandfathers and great grandmothers.
“So it is our wish that the people, especially the younger generation, will learn to appreciate the traditional games, as well as our culture, so it will not go extinct,” he said.