KOTA KINABALU: The spirit of unity and solidarity among Sabah’s multiracial people must be preserved and strengthened, says Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
The Sabah Chief Minister said in his Kaamatan festival message on Sunday (May 29) that the diversity in ethnic groups and religions here served as a solid foundation for Sabah folks.
“Thus in conjunction with Kaamatan, I hope this spirit of togetherness is continued, that all communities in Sabah can be united,” he added.
Hajiji also hoped that the people of Sabah continue to appreciate the natural heritage here, with its flora and fauna of international status to lure tourists.
“Traditionally, Kaamatan is to show gratitude towards the paddy harvest, thus, values tied to this festival also represent an appreciation for nature,” said Hajiji.
He added that as Kaamatan is related to the context of being entrusted by our ancestors to look after our rich natural sources, respecting nature is a role the people of Sabah must bear responsibly.
“So I want to remind the people to view the Kaamatan festival as a way to respect our nature, as this is why Sabah is well known to the world,” he said.
At the same time, Hajiji reminded people to celebrate the Kaamatan holiday, which falls on May 30 and 31, with Covid-19 precautionary measures in mind.
The state-level month-long Kaamatan celebration was officially opened on May 1 in Keningau, where each district will then hold their own celebration over the month.
The culmination takes place at Penampang’s Hongkod Koisaan KDCA, where finalists for Unduk Ngadau from each district will compete to be crowned the harvest queen on Tuesday (May 31).