Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the district about 80km from the city was selected in conjunction with the Visit Tambunan Year 2017. He said Head of State Tun Dr Juhar Mahiruddin is expected to officiate the annual auspicious occasion of the festival celebrated by the Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) community.
"The committee has chosen a theme 'Kaamatan Asas Perpaduan' (Kaamatan Basic Unity) or 'Kaamatan Impowon Pisompuruan' for the festival this year which is seen as suitable with the role of festival and celebrations as a channel to instil unity among the multiracial society in Sabah.
"The climax of the celebration will be at Hongkod Koisaan KDCA in Penampang on May 30 and 31 with various programmes including performances of Kadazandusun," he said, adding that 14 committees, including sub-committees, have been formed to prepare for the celebration.
Pairin said Kinabatangan, Johor Bahru, Matunggong and Klang Valley would hold theirs on May 7; Keningau, Paitan and Lahad Datu on May 10; Kepayan on May 12; Semporna on May 13; Putatan, Beluran, Kunak, Membakut, Pitas, Ranau, Menumbok/Kuala Penyu, Sook, Tungku, Tawau and Tenom on May 14; Kota Belud, Tuaran/Tamparuli, Kudat, W.P Labuan, Sandakan and Kota Marudu from May 19 to 20; City Hall Kota Kinabalu on May 20; Penampang, Papar, Beaufort, Nabawan/Pagalungan, Sipitang, Tongod, Pulau Banggi and Inanam on May 12.
He hoped the people of Sabah would complement government efforts in developing the tourism industry which is the State's economic catalyst and to explore attractive destinations not only in the urban areas but also the interior that would pose huge impact to the State's economy.