KOTA KINABALU: The Magahau Festival, celebrated by the Rungus community in Sabah, is not on par with the Kaamatan Festival, said Sabah Momogun Rungus Association (Samora) president Dato Jelani Hamdan.
He said the festival had been officially held annually since 2005 and received financial assistance from the state and federal government.
“Starting in 2016, the celebration of Mahagau Festival has been done at the zone level, and there are seven zones altogether in Sabah, namely Kudat, Matunggong, Kota Marudu, Pitas, Beluran, Kota Kinabalu and Peninsular zone (now Federal zone).
“We are very grateful for this achievement. Thank you to the state and federal government for recognizing the Magahau Festival as a Sabah celebration, which is included in the government calendar every July,” said Jelani, whose speech was read by Samora deputy president Jose Modsinupu, during the Sodop Papak Tavasi Gala night for the festival at Wisma Tun Fuad Stephens here on August 1.
Upko vice president Datuk Dr Lucas Umbul, who represented Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau, officiated at the festival.
Upko Supreme Council member Datuk James Ratib, Sabah Cultural Board general manager Mansor Asun, Private Secretary to the Chief Minister Francis Au, Samora deputy president and organizing chairperson, Paransol Tiying were among the dignitaries present at the ceremony.