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Joyless Kaamatan if paddy fields sold off
Published on: Monday, May 13, 2024
By: Johan Aziz
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Joyless Kaamatan if paddy fields sold off
Robert receiving a souvenir from the Organising Chairman, KAN Libah Jali (fourth right).
KENINGAU: Assistant Minister of Works, Datuk Robert Tawik urged farmers, especially land owners not to sell their paddy fields.

He said if paddy fields are sold, it is not impossible that one day the Kaamatan Festival could no longer be celebrated because the pillar or symbol of the festival is to be thankful for the paddy crop itself.

“I request that farmers continue the tradition of growing paddy by not selling their paddy fields,” he said while inaugurating the Mukim Tuarid and Bandar Kaamatan Festival, here.

Robert said  the Kaamatan Festival aims to express a sense of gratitude for the paddy harvest in the hope that future paddy yields will continue to increase.

“The theme of ‘Kaamatan Beyond Food Security’ is quite significant because paddy is the food of the people in this State and food security is a measure of the availability of food that is needed among the people.

“The Committee on World Food Security of the United Nations defines this condition as everyone having physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their food preferences and needs for an active and healthy life at all times.

“The Food and Agriculture Organisation identified four pillars of guarantee which are availability, access, consumers and stability of food supply,” he said.

He hoped that farmers in Bingkor would maintain the tradition of growing rice commercially to change their lives from self-sufficiency to increasing their economy through paddy harvest.

Robert, who is also a Bingkor Assemblyman, urged the people to continue to maintain the survival of their respective mother tongues and cultures so that the national identity of the Kadazandusun Murut Rungus (KDMR) community do not extinct over the modern era.

He said the culture and mother tongues of the KDMR community needs to be developed for today’s and future generations so that it continue to remain and not be swallowed up by the challenging modern age.

He said the festival is also to show that the young generation can display their respective arts and cultures, both from wearing traditional clothes, dancing in traditional attires, playing traditional musical instruments, showing skills in craft arts and others.

“This is what we need to have every time we celebrate the Kaamatan Festival because practices like this can develop and improve our art and culture not only in the country but also abroad,” he said.

He said the Kaamatan festival is not just a paddy harvest festival but an important festival for the KDMR community to respect the spirit of paddy, ‘Bambazon’ and celebrate the goodness and blessings given by God.

According to him, the celebration of cultural events such as the Kaamatan Festival can be a platform to foster unity among people of various races, religions and cultures in the state.

“The Kaamatan Festival is also a platform to promote social cohesion and help build a bridge of understanding between different ethnic communities and the concept of Madani Malaysia.

“In addition, through this kind of celebration can give us an opportunity to highlight traditions through dance, music and traditional clothes.

“The State Government always supports cultural and religious celebrations and programs because it is able to attract foreign tourists to our state,” he said.

Robert said this year’s Kaamatan celebration is definitely full of challenges because in the excitement of the people celebrating the festival, the State is also being hit by unpredictable weather conditions. 

He urged the people to always be careful and ready because the monsoon season is coming.

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