Tuesday, April 05, 2016

The tale of Mat Salleh at Sabah Fest 2016

KOTA KINABALU: The tale of legendary Sabah warrior, Mat Salleh will be performed on stage at the Sabah Fest 2016 from April 29 to May 1 at the National Department for Culture and Arts Sabah (JKKN) auditorium.

Entitled, ‘Gulu Gulu - A Tribute to the Past’, it also marks the start of the month-long Harvest Festival celebration in May.

“Gulu Gulu is a Kadazandusun word meaning ‘a long time ago’. This year we adopted the story of Mat Salleh set during the colonial era between 1894 (Sandakan) until his death in Tambunan in 1900,” said Minister of Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment, Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun when announcing the show at Wisma Tun Fuad yesterday.

“His story will be interpreted through dance, song and music as it brings the audience on an expedition across Sabah to showcase places and timelines of historical significance during Mat Salleh’s daring exploit of resistance against the British North Borneo Chartered Company rule,” he said.

“The unique part of Mat Salleh was his supposedly mystical power. One example told to me by my grandfather was during the battle in Ranau where they were holed up by the British in the area where the SIB church is now sited,” shared Masidi.

“The British were shelling Mat Salleh until the shooting stopped and the British thought they had either fled or run out of ammunition but they did not go in because they could still hear the gong beating.

“So the next day they launched a surprise attack only to discover he had already left but according to my grandfather the gong was still beating by itself which was a trick created by Mat Salleh to make the British think he was still inside and that gave him sufficient time to escape,” he continued.