KOTA KINABALU, April 28 — The Keningau district has been picked to host the launch of this year’s state-level Kaamatan Festival which will be held at the Pusat Kraftangan, Keningau on Sunday (May 1) at 9am.
Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan, who is also chairman of the Kaamatan Festival main committee, said the selection of Keningau is to commemorate the several previous ethnic groups who started the festival in the district while Batu Sumpah (located in Keningau) honours the Orang Asal customs and culture.
He said the closing of the celebration will be held at Dewan Hongkod Koisaan, Persatuan Kebudayaan Kadazandusun Murut (KDCA) in Penampang on May 31.
“The celebration this time will introduce a new programme which will give out awards to three categories of farmers who display good performances in agriculture, namely for best padi producer, best producer of feed and best fisheries producer,” he told a press conference here today.
Keningau is an interior division, comprising an area of 3,533 square kilometres, in Sabah and is located 110km south of Kota Kinabalu.
Jeffrey, who is also state agriculture and fisheries minister, said the state government will maintain standard operating procedures (SOPs), with visitors and those involved having to wear face masks.
He said that even though the SOPs have been relaxed, the harvest festival will be celebrated with caution and control after two years of not being held physically.
The theme of the festival this year is “Kaamatan Menjiwai Alam Semulajadi” which emphasises the importance of care and conservation of the environment. The estimated cost of organising the event is RM1.5 million
Jeffrey added that the Kaamatan celebration this year is not only celebrated physically but also online to show the uniqueness of the community in Sabah and to boost the tourism industry as well as agriculture in the state. — Bernama