KOTA KINABALU: One thousand traditionally-garbed performers danced their way into the Malaysia Book of Records with the graceful Kadazandusun sumazau to mark the highlight of the Tadau Kaamatan Malaysia open house here last night.
With outstretched arms and swaying gracefully in unison to the beating of gongs, they were rewarded with loud cheers and applause by a crowd of thousands who braved the rain at the historic Padang Merdeka here.
Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin launched the celebrations, witnessed by Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman and Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and other state and national leaders.
Musa told the crowd that Sabah's ethnic diversity was never an obstacle to unity among the people.
“Instead, this unique aspect has become our pillar of strength that has resulted in political stability, paving the way for economic and social growth,” he said.
He said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Malaysia as a whole had reached a level of harmony that the people could be proud of.
In his speech, Dr Rais said the Kaamatan had become a renowned celebration and was among the basis on which the 1Malaysia concept could be built upon.
Adding a festive and carnival air to the event were replicas of traditional houses on the fringes of the field and stalls promoting Sabah's sumptious food fare, such as the Kadazandusun pinasakan or boiled fish and Bajau kuih pajaram (fried pancakes).
The crowd was entertained to a marathon musical extravaganza featuring well-known artistes like Hazami, Sri Dewi, Lee Chen Wen, Ricky Andrewson, Clarice John Mathew, Den Bisa, Jimmy Palikat and Fauziah Gambus.
There was also the famous One Nation Emcees, the winners of the second season of the talent search contest Ganstarzs.
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