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Sabah's unity solid: CM

Published on: Sunday, January 19, 2014

Kota Kinabalu: Datuk Seri Musa Aman said Sabah's unity is solid and powerful despite its multi-racial and multi-belief community.

The Chief Minister said this can be seen when people of all races gather to celebrate each other's culture and festivals such as the upcoming Chinese New Year.

"The variety of cultures and festivals in this state showcase the uniqueness of the multi-racial and ethnic communities.

Just like other major festivals, the Chinese New Year is also celebrated in a grand way.

"What's more important is that all the other communities also join in by visiting each other's open houses.

This closeness and harmony proves that Sabah's unity is still solid and powerful," he said.

Musa was speaking at the launch of the 2014 Dragon, Unicorn and Lion Dance Festival at the Likas Sports Complex here today.

Also present were Sabah Industrial Development Minister Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah and Special Affairs Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang.

The festival is organised by the United Sabah Chinese Communities Association with about 80 teams participating.

"We can be proud here in Sabah for our ability to celebrate and appreciate the different traditions and cultures, making us truly unique," Musa said.

He said the organisation of the festival was also the best way for the Association to promote the Chinese culture and attract tourists to Kota Kinabalu.

Meanwhile, support from the private sector and non-governmental organisations in ensuring the success of Visit Malaysia Year 2014 as well as events organised by government institutions such as City Hall is vital, said Musa.

Cooperation of all stakeholders is vital in order to organise more community events that will also further boost Kota Kinabalu's image as a city that caters for the needs of people from all walks of life, he said.

"As the gateway to Sabah, Kota Kinabalu plays an important role in creating a positive first impression. I urge Kota Kinabalu City Hall to continue your efforts to ensure that the city is well maintained in terms of cleanliness, and that you continue with beautification efforts.

"The anti-litter bug campaign must be stepped up as part of efforts to raise awareness on the importance of keeping our city clean.

It is my hope that the public will cooperate with City Hall and other local authorities in keeping our surroundings clean.

"Sabah is known for its flora and fauna and natural attractions, and it would be meaningless to promote Sabah as a destination that offers such products if we are unable to keep the state clean," he said, when launching the Chinese New Year 2014 Carnival at Lintasan Deasoka, Saturday night.

His speech was delivered by Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Raymond Tan.

In conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2014, he encouraged City Hall to carry out more cultural and community events that could assist in highlighting the unique cultures and diversity that the people in Sabah are blessed with.

"I am sure both locals and visitors from outside Sabah will appreciate and gain from understanding our diverse traditions through these types of events," he said.

Musa said the State Government acknowledged the importance of community programmes such as this carnival that served as a platform to unite people of various races and faiths, and one that also becomes an event that tourists look forward to.

For these reasons, he said the State Government provided allocation to City Hall to organise this carnival and the Christmas and Harvest Festival carnivals at Lintasan Deasoka and Gaya Street.

He also congratulated City Hall for creating a strategic space for these types of carnivals which were readily accessible to tourists at nearby hotels and to those who live close to the city and nearby districts.

Jointly organised by City Hall and the Federation of Chinese Association Sabah (FCAS), the carnival featured stalls at Gaya Street that was well attended by people from all walks of life and not just the Chinese community.