KOTA KINABALU: Student Sherry Anne Laujang, of Penampang, was crowned the new Unduk Ngadau or Harvest Queen at the penultimate event of this year’s state-level Kaamatan festival.
The 21-year-old from Kampung Ramayah outshone 43 other contestants from around Sabah as well as the Klang Valley, Johor and Labuan to take the title.
First runner-up was 23-year-old Claryssa Henry of Kudat while the second runner-up was Fenny Ester Joslin, 21, of Sabah’s northern-most island of Banggi.
They received their prizes from the wife of Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri Toh Puan Norlidah R.M. Jasni.
Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin performed the symbolic harvesting of the padi and later beat a gong seven times to launch the festivities.
Also present was Deputy Chief Minister and the Huguan Siou (Kadazandusun paramount leader) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, .
Pairin later read out the speech of Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who said the state gave priority to cultural festivals like Kaamatan as these would help foster unity and understanding among Sabah’s diverse communities.