11km marathon to be held in conjunction with Kaamatan
21 Jan 2015

Kota Kinabalu: An 11km marathon will be held for the first time in conjunction with the Kaamatan Festival.

"Ponongkusan Pisompuruan" (Unity Run in Dusun) will be held to instill culture, unity, charity and keeping healthy all in a single running event.

The run will also be symbolically flagged off from Tambunan's Pisompuruan Square (Unity Ground) on April 25, said Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, on Tuesday.

Tambunan is also the starting point for the month-long harvest festival this May 1 before thousands convene at the Kadazandusun Cultural Hall in Penampang for the finale, end of that month.

"It's a good opportunity to reflect the unity, culture of Sabahans and the refreshing air of Tambunan's interior to visitors," said Pairin, who is also the Huguan Siou. The running event is basically divided into two categories ? an 11km hilly route marathon for the avid runners and a 3km run for veterans. Those interested can obtain the entry forms the Kota Kinabalu Water Department Office at Gaya Park, Tambunan District Office and Mercy Office in Luyang Perdana now.

Alternately, runners can also sign up through a dedicated Facebook page set for the purpose or call Patrisha at 016-811 9511 or Helen 012-816 0801 for details.

Early bird fees are set at RM40 and RM30 for adults and students now, while RM50 and RM40 respectively will be charged to those who register after March 1.

Runners will be entitled to a finishers' medal and event t-shirt as organisers will prepare cash prizes worth up to RM5,200 and lucky draws worth RM10,000. Race starts at 6.30am at the designated ground as all proceeds from the event will benefit the less fortunate children and orphans at Bondulu Children's Home in Toboh.

Organisers have also arranged for a story-telling, traditional sports and tug of war competitions during the event.

(Source from Daily Express?Wednesday, January 21, 2015)

State Kaamatan Festival opening ceremony will return to Tambunan
16 Jan 2015

KOTA KINABALU: The hosting of the State Kaamatan Festival opening ceremony will return to Tambunan this year with the organizer expecting at least 30,000 Malaysians and tourists to throng the district for the much anticipated annual event held officially since the 1960s.

Deputy Chief Minister cum State-level Kaamatan Main Organizing Committee chairman Datuk Seri Pairin Kitingan in informing this yesterday, said the decision had been approved by the State Cabinet and preparations were already underway to ensure a smooth festive celebration.

I have directed the District Officer to make the necessary preparations, including for side event to be held for the celebration, which is the Tambunan Kaamatan Charity Run that will be held on April 25, he told reporters after chairing the committee's first meeting at the Public Works Department building in Sembulan yesterday.

Over 100 runners are expected to take part in the charity run, which will have two categories, namely Veteran and Special. Pairin, who is also the Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM) huguan siou (paramount leader), said the theme chosen for the Kaamatan celebration this year is "Peace and Unity Through Culture", in line with the emphasis placed by the government on strengthening inter-racial understanding and tolerance among the people.

In today's world, we need to stress on peace and unity and Kaamatan as one of the major festivals in the country, indeed plays an important role in bringing the people from different background together,? he said. Pairin said the hosting of the celebration would promote Tambunan as a travel destination to locals and foreigners, especially those attending the opening. The event, he said, has long served as catalyst for tourism-related activities, especially traditional clothing and handicrafts, food and beverage, and cultural and arts performances.

Pairin who is also Tambunan assemblyman, said apart from its unique culture, the district dubbed by the locals as the Switzerland of the east, has a lot of natural attractions to offer, from clean fresh air to unique fauna and flora. He noted the Trusmadi forest reserve in Tambunan is home to the smallest orchid species known in the world. A new edible mushroom that could grow up to 2.5 feet wide, was also recently identified in the forest.

Another place of interest that I would suggest you to visit is the Mahua waterfall. It was known to be used for meditation in ancient time and the cold refreshing water there keeps flowing even during the long drought. I would also like to suggest the locals wear their traditional clothing when attending the event, to showcase our colourful culture and traditions, he said.

Tambunan last hosted the Kaamatan opening ten years ago. Pairin said all agencies involved were working with one another to coordinate all aspects of the celebrations to ensure Tambunan would be fully prepared to accommodate the visitors, who will include Commonwealth Parliamentary Association representatives from over 35 countries, who coincidentally would be in the State for a three-day meeting and have indicated their interest to attend the ceremony.

The last time we hosted Kaamatan in Tambunan, we had some serious problems with the traffic but this time we are coordinating everything to ensure we are better prepared, he said.

The launching in Tambunan is expected to be officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who is also scheduled to officiate at the Kaamatan Traditional Sports event at KDCA on May 30.

The closing on May 31 is expected to be graced by Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.

Pairin also informed that several districts have finalized and submitted the date for their district-level Kaamatan, including Keningau which will hold the event on May 2, Klang Valley (May 3), Tongod (May 7), Kuala Penyu together with Menumbok (May 9) and Matunggong and Sipitang (May 14). The Kota Kinabalu City Hall will also start its three-day celebration on May 14. Other districts that have confirmed their dates are Penampang, Kudat and Sandakan (May 16), Tamparuli and Tuaran (May 17), Putatan (May 19), Tenom (May 23) and Kota Belud (May 24).

The Tambunan Unduk Ngadau gala night will be held on May 21. The closing date for registration of the State-level Unduk Ngadau is on May 27.

(Source from The Borneo Post?January 16, 2015, Friday)

Commonwealth MPs to join in Kaamatan
16 Jan 2015

Kota Kinabalu: Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) delegates from 32 countries will be here to witness the start of the Harvest Festival celebration on May 1 in Tambunan.

"They will be having their three-day conference here and have shown interest in participating in the Kaamatan Festival," said Huguan Siou Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

"They will still be here on May 1 and would like to include the Kaamatan Festival in their itinerary programme," said Pairin, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, during a press conference on Thursday.

"I have also informed this matter to the Tambunan District Officer so that they will be able to make earlier preparations for the upcoming celebration," he said, confident the CPA delegates will bring back to their respective countries good memories of the event.

Pairin said the Kaamatan celebration is the catalyst for the State's tourism industry.

"The celebration will activate more economic activities," he said, adding that Tambunan is widely known as the Switzerland of the East due to the beauty of its natural environment, citing the famous Mount Trusmadi and Mahua Waterfall as examples.

According to him, they had just completed an initial meeting discussing the upcoming Kaamatan festival programme and formed the Kaamatan Main Organising Committees as well as sub-committees.

"Each district will announce their dates for the Kaamatan celebration. However, Tambunan will kick off this year's district-level celebrations.

"Besides that, there will also be the Tambunan Kaamatan Charity Run on April 30 and we target about 100 runners from two different categories," he said.

In terms of traffic and accommodation throughout the celebration in the district, Pairin said related committees have been appointed to tackle the matter.

"Of course, traffic congestion will occur but I believe that with the improvement in terms of infrastructure development, things will go on well compared to 10 years ago when Tambunan last became the district host for the Kaamatan celebration," he said.

"I would like to urge the people to wear their respective traditional costume during the celebration on May 1 in Tambunan to show others that we are a multicultural people and each of us has our own cultural uniqueness and beauty.

"I think that this is in line with this year's celebration's theme 'Peace and Unity Through Culture'. Peace and unity are something we should focus on with the current situations we observe throughout the world.

"Kaamatan is one of the important celebrations in Malaysia and it helps to promote tolerance, unity and harmony among the multicultural people," he said, adding that the first official celebration started in the year 1960.

Pairin later announced the dates for all Kaamatan district level celebrations.

"On May 1, the launching of the district celebration will kick off in Tambunan, followed by Keningau district on May 2 and Klang Valley on May 3. On May 7 and 9, it will be held at Tongod and Kuala Penyu districts respectively.

"Matunggong as well as Sipitang will have its district Kaamatan celebration on May 14. City Hall will also be having their opening for the celebration which will last for three days. For Penampang, Kudat and Sandakan districts, the celebration will be on May 16. Tuaran and Tamparuli will have the celebration on May 17 (Sunday) whereas Putatan will be on May 19. For Tenom, it will be on May 23 followed by Kota Belud on May 24 which will be the last day of the Kaamatan district celebration.

"On the other hand, the Gala Night for Unduk Ngadau participants will be held on May 21 in Tambunan. The final registration for each Unduk Ngadau district representative will be on May 27," he said, adding that Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman will grace the traditional sports on May 30 and Head of State Tun Juhar Mahiruddin at the closing ceremony of the 2015 State-level Kaamatan Celebration.

(Source from Daily Express?Friday, January 16, 2015)

Tambunan to host State-level Harvest Festival launch
10 Jan 2015

TAMBUNAN: Tambunan will host the launch of the State-level Harvest (Kaamatan) Festival on May 1 this year, Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said here yesterday.

He said this would give the State Legislative Assembly an opportunity to play host to about 500 delegates from Commonwealth countries.

I ask the people of this region, including the Interior to participatein the event by stepping up efforts in putting up an exhibition about the background, history and culture in this state, he said in his message to the heads of state and federal departments at a meeting held at the District Office Operation room here.

To prepare early for the festival, Pairin, who is alsoTambunan Assemblyman, advised people from the Interior to take an active role to ensure the success of the launching ceremony held at Pisompuruan Plain here. He said all the programmes would be held this year, organized by the Districtl Office, including improving the quality of work of government departments and staff to be more responsible.

As a leader in this area, I ask all parties, including heads of government departments in this area to do their best for this year in an effort to improve the quality of this area in the eyes of tourists. We also hope that the government departments would improve performance, especially in the tourism, agriculture, manufacturing sectors in conjunction with the launching of this festival, he said.

Pairin, who is also Minister of Infrastructure Development, said Tambunan District had been given the opportunity to launch a state-level Kaamatan Festival as required by the State Assembly to faciliate the participation of about 500 representatives of Commonwealth countries.

I ask the people in this area to take this opportunity to make this area to be recognized by the international community. He said the presence of representatives of Commonwealth countries is historical and the was a need to intensify something unique to be put forward in conjunction with the launch of the festival on May 1.

He said, as a district famous for bamboo, the people here have shown also need bamboo because there was still need the tools around them than they are easily available. The bamboo can be used as a tool to beautify by having a bambo fence competition along the road from Kampung Tangaban to Kampung Pupulutan.

In addition, we can also create a museum for this area to showcase the materials of historical value as this area has emerged champion in karate and many of the residents in the district had joined the police force in the past, he said.

Pairin, who is also Keningau MP, said in conjunction with the festival launch many tourists from abroad would be attend the cereromy so the organizing committee should provide visitors with better services. He said this would include all villages close to the road in order to ensure the cleanliness and beauty of the areas apart from observing the importance of serving clean food and drinks.

Pairin said he expected all parties to do their best for Tambunan in view of the Visit Tambunan Year. I will continue to visit government departments in this area to help the community in need in this area. This includes continued support for the village beauty pageant, proper sewerage and cooperation from all as tourists will be coming to the district, he said. Pairin said the tourism industry is a catalyst for economic growth in this area and he hoped the Village Development and Security Committees (JKKK) and village headmen would also play a role in improving this industry in their respective villages.

(Source from The Borneo Post? January 10, 2015, Saturday)