KOTA KINABALU: The Kaamatan celebration which is shared by all races symbolises the struggle to embrace the 1Malaysia concept said Information Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim.
He added that the harvest festival is not only celebrated by the Kadazandusun Murut community in Sabah but also among the people nationwide.
“Even national and state leaders are joining the celebration.
“Under the tutelage of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, we have achieved a remarkable level of harmony,” he said at the Tadau Kaamatan Malaysian Open House 2011 at Padang Merdeka here.
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said the overwhelming response to Tadau Kaamatan reflected the strong support of the people to the festival.
“Let us prove how strong the spirit of unity, a sense of togetherness and harmony between the leaders and the people of all races and ethnicities, especially in Sabah where plurality becomes the uniqueness and backbone of our strength,” he said.
The ceremony was launched by Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin, who was accompanied by his wife, Toh Puan Norlidah RM Jasni, by symbolically harvesting the rice.
Juhar was joined by Rais, Musa and Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is also the Huguan Siou (paramount chief) of the Kadazandusun Murut community.
The Tadau Kaamatan, which started with an exhibition on Kadazandusun Murut cultures culminated with the Sumazau Seribu, a traditional dance performed by 1,000 dancers, which seeks to enter the Malaysia Book of Records.
Artists, including Hazami, One Nation Emcees, Clarice John Matha and Jimmy Palikat entertained the audience all night long during the event. – Bernama.