KOTA KINABALU, (June 2 ) — The Kamaatan Festival, celebrated by Sabah’s ethnic communities each year, could help strengthen national unity and integration, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup.
He said although Kaamatan was a traditional celebration of mainly the Kadazandusun and Murut communities, it was nevertheless joined by the other communities in an atmosphere of merriment, peace and harmony.
“Our cultural differences are no obstacle for this country’s plural society to unite as one big family under the 1Malaysia concept.”
Kurup said this in his speech at the closing and presentation of certificates to participants of the Community Integration Visit Programme held in conjunction with the Kaamatan Festival 2014, here, Sunday night.
He said besides drawing tens of thousands of local and foreign visitors, the Kaamatan Festival also helped to strengthen family bond and friendship among people.
On the Community Integration Visit Programme, he said it gave the participants the opportunityy to be exposed to and learn about the age-old traditions, arts and culture of the Kazadandusun and Murut communities in Sabah.
The 71 participants of the programme have been staying with villagers for six days in several remote locations in places like Nabawan, Keningau, Sook, Tambunan and Kundasang.
The closing of the programme, themed “Unity in Celebrating Diversity”, organised by the Sabah National Unity and Integration Department, was also attended by over 200 officers of the department and Rukun Tetangga sector representatives from around the country.– BERNAMA