Fri, 19 Jul 2024


Sabah mementos for the King
Published on: Sunday, September 10, 2023
By: Ricardo Unto
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The royal couple being briefed by KDCA President Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan on the ‘Sigah’ and other souvenirs.
THE first-ever “Kembara Kenali Borneo” tour led by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah and the Raja Permaisuri Agong, Tunku Azizah Aminah Maimunah Iskandariah has left lasting impressions in the hearts of the people of Sabah, especially those who have contributed to the historic journey.

Among them were two local young entrepreneurs who were entrusted with special tasks.

One prepared a “Sigah” (traditional Kadazan headgear) as a memento for the King, while the other prepared a delectable cake and a yellow glutinous rice cake for the royal couple.

Barrynicker Gary Bernard, 33, from Papar, said he was initially shocked when Penampang District Officer Francis Chong commissioned him to prepare the “Sigah”.

The “Sigah” was presented to the King during the morning reception at the Hongkod Koisaan Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) on Thursday (Sept 7).

It was among an array of souvenirs presented to the royal couple.

The ‘Sigah’ prepared by Barrynicker as a memento for the King.

“I was asked to prepare the sigah in early August…I was surprised, but then it got me thinking to provide the best for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong,” he told the Daily Express.

“At the same time, I was happy as it is not easy to get such an opportunity, especially being entrusted to craft something for the King.”

He said for the “Sigah”, he prepared a “Sigah Kinahu-Kahu Kadazan” with a handmade “siling amas” (gold-coloured lace on the cloth edges).

“The ‘Sigah’ was completed in seven days. My main challenge was to overcome my nervousness about preparing the neatest ‘Sigah’…I am not saying that the other ones I made previously were not neat, but this one is crafted specially for the King.

“I also make sure there were no snagged threads on the cloth,” said the assistant marketing executive who has been actively researching and making traditional costumes since 2017.

Full-time baker Fariqzul Barik, 39, from Lahad Datu, was equally surprised when first requested to prepare cakes for the royal couple’s welcoming reception in Lahad Datu, on Monday (Sept 4).

“I received a text message from Silam community development leader Mizma Appehdullah four days before the actual event to make two types of cakes.

“I was shocked, but at the same time, I was excited and nervous.” He made a two-tier fondant cake and a decorated yellow glutinous rice cake for the reception.

Barrynicker (left) and Fariqzul

“However, the royal couple only managed to try the glutinous rice cake as the fondant cake had to be brought home as we were afraid that it would melt while waiting for their presence,” he said.

He said the main challenge was to prepare a bigger yellow glutinous rice cake that was heavy.

The “Kembara Kenali Borneo” is a dream come true for Their Majesties in getting to know Malaysians living in the interiors of Sabah and Sarawak.

The Sept 3-13 tour, starting in Tawau and ending in Telok Melano, Sematan, Sarawak, would span 2,154 kilometres through the Pan Borneo Highway, which connects Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei.


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