BEAUFORT: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman has called on youths to continue to preserve tribal and ethnic culture to keep the traditional heritage alive.
He said the very existence and survival of a racial or ethnic group depended upon its willingness, determination and commitment to uphold its cultural heritage.
“Therefore, the state government welcomes such programmes to maintain unity and uphold local cultural heritage,” he said in his opening speech at the Bagandang Festival here, yesterday.
His speech was read by the Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development, who is also Beaufort member of Parliament, Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.
Musa said the Bagandang Festival is not a tourism asset but also serves to further strengthen unity among the various races in Sabah.
Also present were State Assistant Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Datuk Kamarlin Ombi, Beaufort UMNO head Datuk Isnin Aliasnih and Kuala Penyu State assemblyman Limus Jury.
Musa said that besides helping to translate Malaysia’s excellent multicultural identity, the Bagandang Festival was also an opportunity for the people of Beaufort and its surrounding towns to earn some income.
The Bagandang Festival, a Beaufort district annual event, was in its sixth year with this year’s theme being ‘Upholding Culture Together’. The festival was a five-day event concluding yesterday.
Among the programmes held were the Cultural Festival Night in which states such as Johor, Pahang, Kelantan, Terengganu, took part including Brunei Darussalam.
Meanwhile, Musa said, efforts from Non-Government Organisations and the private sector to mobilise and sponsor socio-cultural activities to improve inter-ethnic harmony, foster cooperation and nourish inter-ethnic tolerance were most welcomed.