Monday, June 20, 2011

Sabah Dragon Boat race attracts thousands

KOTA KINABALU: For the thousands who thronged to watch the 26th Sabah Dragon Boat race, they were either weekend day out for the family or to provide moral support to the participants.

Vehicles were parked on the roadsides stretching from the City mosque at Likas up to the roundabout at Jalan Istiadat.

Despite the area already being jam-packed with hordes of people, latecomers were not even deterred by the sheer number of people present and were determined to witness the annual dragon boat race.

The event was officiated by the Head of State Tun Datuk Seri Panglima Hj Juhar Hj Mahiruddin.

Also present were Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai representing the Chief Minister, Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun, Mayor Datuk Abidin Madingkir, Sabah Tourism Promotion Board chairman Dato’ Seri Tengku Zainal Adlin and Sabah Chinese Cultural Association (SCCA) president Datuk Chau Tet On.

Those who participated in the dragon race, the title was fought not only for the team, but for the honour of the districts they represented and that of their families.

Ruwan Salim, 26, has in the past years participated in the teenager category and was at the scene yesterday to give his undivided support to the team from Kampung Giling, Tuaran. The team was vying for the Chief Minister’s Trophy.

Ruwan and his family attend the event every year without fail and were blissfully enjoying themselves watching the races and having a picnic at the same time.

“Many of our Bajau people from Mengkabung came (for the dragon boat race) and we have many relatives here too.”

Although the dragon boat race is traditionally a Chinese culture, the sport has attracted other members of other races to take part.

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