KOTA KINABALU: The hosting of the State Kaamatan Festival opening ceremony will return to Tambunan this year with the organizer expecting at least 30,000 Malaysians and tourists to throng the district for the much anticipated annual event held officially since the 1960s.
Deputy Chief Minister cum State-level Kaamatan Main Organizing Committee chairman Datuk Seri Pairin Kitingan in informing this yesterday, said the decision had been approved by the State Cabinet and preparations were already underway to ensure a smooth festive celebration.
“I have directed the District Officer to make the necessary preparations, including for side event to be held for the celebration, which is the Tambunan Kaamatan Charity Run that will be held on April 25,” he told reporters after chairing the committee’s first meeting at the Public Works Department building in Sembulan yesterday.
Over 100 runners are expected to take part in the charity run, which will have two categories, namely Veteran and Special.
Pairin, who is also the Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM) huguan siou (paramount leader), said the theme chosen for the Kaamatan celebration this year is ‘Peace and Unity Through Culture’, in line with the emphasis placed by the government on strengthening inter-racial understanding and tolerance among the people.
“In today’s world, we need to stress on peace and unity and Kaamatan as one of the major festivals in the country, indeed plays an important role in bringing the people from different background together,” he said.
Pairin said the hosting of the celebration would promote Tambunan as a travel destination to locals and foreigners, especially those attending the opening.
The event, he said, has long served as catalyst for tourism-related activities, especially traditional clothing and handicrafts, food and beverage, and cultural and arts performances.
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