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Dual value of the Fest: CM
Published on: Sunday, January 23, 2011

Kota Kinabalu: The annual Dragon, Unicorn and Lion Dance Festival not only helps to promote Chinese culture but also to diversify the State's tourism products, especially during the Chinese New Year holidays.Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman said city dwellers and visitors to the City certainly feel the Chinese New Year celebration mood with many activities being held at Gaya Street adding to the festivity.

Towards this end, he hoped something more unique and different could be exposed in future celebrations in order to attract more tourists.

"Importantly, cultural activities such as this must get more involvement from the youths to make sure we get continuity of this programme for the future," he said, when declaring open the festival at Padang Merdeka, Saturday.

The text of speech was delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Peter Pang. He said youths of today lacked exposure to their own culture and if allowed to persist, would definitely lead to the extinction of local culture.

"Therefore, let us work together to ensure a programme such as this will continue to be strengthened to assure a harmonious living with our culture as the backbone," he said. Musa commended the organiser, Persatuan Masyarakat Cina Bersekutu Sabah, for the commitment and hard work.

"I hope such noble effort will continue in the years to come and directly showcase the 1Malaysia concept that has become so intertwined with the lives of the multi-ethnic and religion people in the State," he said.

He also urged cooperation from all to work towards protecting this uniqueness so that it continues to be Sabah's pillar of strength to foster unity and harmony.

"I believe this will make our bid to bolster the state's economic growth, political stability and ultimately improvement of the people's living easier," he said.

Nearly 40 Dragon, Unicorn and Lion dance troupes took part in the ceremony, which was witnessed by thousands of city dwellers and foreign tourists.

Also present were State Resources Development and Information Technology Minister, Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister, Datuk Edward Khoo, Assistant Local Government and Housing Minister, Datuk Edward Yong and association chairman, Yong Soo Pin as well as BN component party leaders and Chinese associations as well as local community leaders.

Unlike previous years, Mayor Iliyas Ibrahim, was visibly absent.

It was reliably learnt that he was not invited.



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