TEBEDU: The ‘Titian Muhibbah’ (Goodwill Ties) Night, hosted alternately between Serian Division and Indonesia’s Sanggau Regency, has proven to be a good platform to strengthen bilateral relations between Malaysia and Indonesia.
Education, Science and Technological Research Minister Dato Sri Michael Manyin Jawong, who officiated at this year’s event in Tebedu, said it felt like a big family celebration because ethnic groups from both Serian and Sanggau have many similarities.
He noted that Sanggau Regency Office secretary AL Leysandri is of Iban ethnicity while the Camat (district officer) of Entikong Hendrikus Suparman is a Bidayuh.
“We have the same languages, same cultures and same ethnic groups, but we are separated by the border. We should continue such event because we celebrate ourselves as one big family,” he suggested in his speech.
Meanwhile, AL Leysandri, who came on behalf of Bupati (Regent) of Sanggau Paolus Hadi, said Sanggau was happy to be involved in the event as it promotes healthy bilateral relations.
He said such event is not just about promoting tourism, but also promotes positive ties and working relationship between folks and government personnel from both sides of the border.
Serian Resident Johnathan Lugoh said good cooperation and understanding between both sides will enable them to always work for win-win situations for better economic and social activities.
He noted the event first started in 2000, and has continued on until today with both sides taking turns to host it.
It will be the turn of Sanggau next year to play host, and AL Leysandri invited Sarawakians to come to Kota Sanggau where it will be held.
Cultural troupes from Tebedu Mawang, Semukoi B and Bunan Gega gave cultural performances that night for Serian. From Sanggau, their troupes presented a Dayak dance and a Malay dance before performers in Chinese costumes joined them for a dance called ‘Damai Bersama’.
Bidayuh singers Dino and Patricia, and traditional instrumentalist Arthur Boman performed for Serian. Tita Martisa performed for Sanggau, while Leysandri and his wife Agnes also went on stage to perform a popular folk
A challenge trophy was also presented to Sanggau for winning the 20th Sosek Malindo Games held the previous weekend in Tebedu.