KOTA KINABALU: The top 21 Unduk Ngadau finalists will be chosen by professional judges and not through the pay-to-vote system due to strong public backlash, says Joanna Kitingan.
“We thought it would be easier and cheaper to have the Unduk Ngadau competition being held partly online. However, the technicalities have proven to be more expensive than expected, ” said the Unduk Ngadau Borderless Kaamatan chairperson.
The results will be known on Monday (May 24) evening, where a Zoom meeting will be held together with the contestants to reveal the finalists.
However, she added that the pay-to-vote system would still apply for the Popular Title.
On the money collected, Kitingan said that it will be donated to the Makatip Shelter Home for underprivileged girls in Tambunan, as it was the charity selected earlier.
She said it was unfortunate that they could not hold their Sodop Unduk Ngadau, or gala night as previous years to raise funds for the charity of their choice due to the pandemic.
“In the past, we could allow all the representatives to come on stage but we cannot do that this time as there is a limit as to how many people can be in the hall during the main event at the end of this month, ” she said.
Kitingan said the main goal of events such as gala nights is to raise money for a charity of their choice and to fund activities related to the pageant.
She said many also do not realise that the organising costs for the annual State Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan pageant have been constantly rising over the years.
“We thank the state government for the grant and to all our kind sponsors for the prizes, but we still have to find ways to raise funds to pay for all the other expenses such as participants' accommodations, food, transportation and other subsidiary prizes, ” she said.