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Upko Kaamatan draws 5,000
Published on: Sunday, May 08, 2016

Kota Belud: More than 5,000 people attended the Upko Kaamatan 2016 at Kota Belud Sports Complex here, the ninth time the political party organised its national-level Kaamatan festival.During the two-day event which started on Friday night with the Sodop Rombituon, the venue was jam-packed with merrymakers from all over Kota Belud and surrounding districts to join in the celebration.

Famous local musician Jaidi Arifin beat 29 other hopefuls to clinch the best newly composed song for the festival with his theme songs for this year's competition, namely Misompuru (United) and Doiti Miampai Diau (Here with you).

This is the second year the song composition contest was held. Since its inception last year, Upko had successfully collected 20 high-quality Misompuru songs through the competition.

This year's festival was made livelier with the participation of more than 15 zones, each featuring their district's unique traditional food and drinks for visitors to sample. Despite the scorching heat of the noon sun, visitors gathered under each of the camps where they sat and sang songs and danced to the gong-beat, each camp with its distinct tune and dancing steps.

Meanwhile, inside the main hall, local singers performed songs to the delight of their adoring fans until it was time for the highlight of the festival which is the Unduk Ngadau competition.

"Nine years ago, Upko as a political organisation decided to organise our own Kaamatan festival because we see Kaamatan as a channel for us to realise the party's struggle which is to uphold the identity of the Momogun race.

"The song composition contest which was started last year is seen as one of the ways for us to strengthen our call for unity and this we do through culture, specifically through songs," said Upko Acting President Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.

Tangau who is also Science, Technology and Innovative Minister, also brought with him a team from his ministry to hold a science and mathematics exhibition at the venue in conjunction with the event.

He said it is important for students to grow an interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) studies because the future belongs to those who master STEM. Tangau also took the opportunity to wish Happy Mothers' Day and said that mothers play important roles in the wellbeing of the families, especially in the education of children.

"Therefore, I would urge all mothers to encourage their children to take up science subjects in schools," he said.

Also present during the event were Upko Vice Presidents Datuk Siringan Gubat, Datuk Marcus Mojigoh, Datuk Seri Wences Angang, Datuk Bobbey Suan, Senator Datuk Lucas Umbul, Datuk Masiung Banah, and Datuk Ewon Ebin, Upko Wanita Chief Datin Dr. Jaian Sintian, Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, and Kuala Penyu Assemblyman Limus Jury.



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