KOTA SAMARAHAN: Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and wife Toh Puan Ragad Kurdi Taib joined hundreds of guests at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak’s (Unimas) colourful, multicultural “Ngabang Raya” celebration.
The event was held here for Unimas staff and students in conjunction with the recent Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya Aidilfitri celebrations.
It is aimed to promote the celebrations among guests, especially to non-Sarawakians, as well as to show appreciation to the customs and traditions associated with Gawai Dayak and Hari Raya.
“We hope that everybody takes this time to enhance ties with each other to create a stronger bond and solidarity in the Unimas family in tandem with the harmony in Sarawak that we have enjoyed, regardless of race, ethnicity or religion.
“The Ngabang Raya celebration is also a good time for us to forgive any misunderstanding and work towards mending broken ties.
“It is time to start fresh to forge stronger cooperation among us,” Unimas vice-chancellor Prof Datuk Dr Mohamad Kadim Suaidi said at the event.
The university’s pro-chancellor Tan Sri Alfred Jabu Numpang and wife Tan Sri Empiang Jabu, board chairman Datuk Dr Hattta Solhi and Deputy Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Alexander Nanta Linggi were among those present.
Kadim advised all students, teaching fraternity and staff of Unimas to always respect and instill strong cooperation with each other regardless of background, race and religion.
“This event is also to celebrate with those not able to spend their Gawai or Hari Raya with their families this year,” he added.
He advised the university to always help those in need, be it through providing physical assistance or moral support.
At the event, 16 faculties and academic administrative centres took part in the “most beautiful hut” contest. The huts were also venues to serve various Dayak and Malay delicacies to guests.
Taib, who is also Unimas chancellor, visited the huts to sample some of the food and kuih-muih.
Various cultural performances were featured in the event.
Students from various faculties also took part in the 2017 Unimas Kumang Gawai and Keling Gawai, as well as Raja Songket and Ratu Keringkan contests.