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Harvest Festival kicks off with pledge

Published on: Friday, May 02, 2014

Kota Marudu: The State-level Tadau Kaamatan festival was launched, here, Thursday with a renewed assurance that the State Government will continuously support cultural and religious celebrations and programmes.

The assurance came from Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman who believes cultural programmes can further strengthen unity among the multi-ethnic community, as these enable people to learn, understand and respect the customs and cultures of others.

"The Kaamatan festival and so on are very significant in line with the government effort to uplift the local people's culture and art heritages," he said, urging all walks of community in the State to truly appreciate the message behind this year's theme "Cultural: The Foundation for Peace and Friendship".

The theme reminds all how important is culture and friendship in increasing and strengthening further ties among people in the multiracial, multi-religion and multicultural community in Sabah.

He said the presence of many people from various walks of life at the Tadau Kaamatan festival also clearly proved that through the festival, the spirit of brotherhood, friendship, togetherness and unity was continuously strengthened in line with the spirit of 1Malaysia.

He called on people in Sabah to take part in the month-long celebration at the district level.

Musa, who is also State Finance Minister, said the State Government will continue to apply a comprehensive and integrated approach in its effort to plan and implement development for the continued prosperity of the people.

He urged full and unending support from the people to the government to ensure every planned development programme is implemented smoothly as planned.

Musa was also pleased with the progress of development and modernisation of Kota Marudu district, saying although it is a long process the district is going through an era of rapid transformation and development.

Apart from doing the symbolic traditional rice harvesting ritual, Musa and other State Cabinet members present also took part in the Kimaragang ethnic traditional dance together with dancers on the stage.

Huguan Siou Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, and Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili, who is the State Tadau Kaamatan coordination and implementation committee chairman, among others, were present.

Pairin, in his speech, said this year's celebration is time for all to reflect on their respective achievements as well as reaffirming their continued support to the State and Federal Governments' efforts to boost harmony, unity and integration among people in the country.

He thanked the government for the continuous support, collaboration and commitment to the organising of Tadau Kaamatan since 1960.

Dr Ongkili, in his opening speech, said Kota Marudu which is the second rice bowl in Sabah has been developing rapidly especially over the last five years to an extent that now the property value here has increased by 300 per cent.

Among notable developments is the Kota Marudu-Marak Parak-Ranau asphalt road which is scheduled to be completed next year and the construction of a coastal road linking Tuaran and Kudat which will also link to Kota Marudu.