KOTA KINABALU: Bonding with Gaya Street 2 will allow the community to learn more about the history of the city, in particular those related to the Gaya Street.
According to Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing, Datuk Edward Yong Oui Fah at the launch of the event at Lintasan Deasoka near here yesterday, the Gaya Street has among the oldest buildings in the city and is also a centre for business activities.
The Gaya Street is also famous for its weekly Sunday Gaya Street Fair which attracts thousands of people keen on purchasing various locally produced products including agricultural produce, he said.
“I believe their presence also shows the uniqueness of our community which is from various races and religions,” he said.
He then commended the organiser of the event, saying that the exhibition related to the history of Gaya Street would enable the people, particularly the young, to learn more about the street’s history and appreciate the freedom that the State has savoured in the last 50 years.
“We are indeed very lucky as Malaysians to be able to live peacefully despite our differences in race, culture and religion,” he said.
He also said the Federal and State governments have continued to care for the people through its 1Malaysia concept of putting the people first.
Organising chairman of the event, Datin Fazar Arif, in her speech said that the first Bonding with Gaya Street was conducted last year and that some of the photos that had been exhibited then remained on display by shop owners operating along the street.
She said that these photographs remained because of the love and the tremendous pride in those historical photos and the stories behind the pictures.
The photos showcased included the work of the late Victor Wah, showcasing a scene taken during Sabah’s proclamation of independence through the formation of Malaysia at the town padang on Sept 16, 1963, she said.
She added that she hoped to share history lessons through exhibitions, musical entertainment and games of yesteryears within the course of the three-day exhibition.
“And as we continue to celebrate Gaya Street, we must never forget in the back of our minds the sacrifices, the pain, the celebrations that this street had witnessed.
“So many events had come and gone from the days of the North Borneo Chartered Company from 1881 till the Japanese Occupation from 1942 to 1945 as a crown colony from 1946 to 1963.
“And this year we celebrated the 50th year since we gained independence from the British on the 31 August 1963. Then in just two weeks we saw the formation of Malaysia on the 16 September 1963. Indeed from what was known as North Borneo to Sabah as it is now, we have reached a milestone in history,” she said.
Also present at the event were City Hall Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir and State Museum director Joanna Kitingan.