Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Shafie: Federal should declare Harvest Fest national holidays

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) President Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal said the Federal Government should honour the Harvest Festival celebrated by the KDM community in Sabah by declaring May 30 and 31 national holidays.

This way, he said the thousands of Sabahans in the peninsula could also celebrate the festival with other races there.

"Actually Penampang MP Darell Leiking had already brought up the proposal to make Tadau Kaamatan a national holiday several times in Parliament when he was still in PKR.

"When I was in Umno, I also heard his proposal but only several days ago did I understand why Tadau Kaamatan must be given the honour by the Federal Government," he said in a statement.

Shafie said the KDM community actually played a very important role in the formation of the Federation of Malaysia through their past leaders.

"And it is their leaders who ensured that Sabah will not be made use of by Malaya through a series of discussions and the formulation of terms and conditions that became the basis of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 which we are defending now.

"But it is disappointing when we see many KDM youths forced to seek employment in the peninsula as blue collar workers when this was not the intention and dream of their past leaders when they agreed to bring Sabah and form the Federation of Malaysia.

"And I am sure, if political figures like Tun Fuad Stephens, Datuk Peter Mojuntin, G.S. Sundang and OKK Sedomon are still alive, they would be deeply saddened if they see the condition of the KDM youths in the peninsula now," he said.

Shafie opined that a paradigm shift was needed to give the community a sense of pride as heir to the contribution by their past leaders during the formation.

"We Sabahans are used to feeling proud when we see our artists or athletes giving their best at the national level.

Just imagine if the dignity of this State is enhanced by making Tadau Kaamatan an important cultural festival in the country by declaring it a national holiday nationwide, including in Perlis and Perak.

"Other than providing an opportunity to Sabahans in the peninsula to rest and celebrate together, the holiday would surely allow non-Sabahan Malaysians to get to know about races in Sabah as well as the history of the formation.

"Sabah is represented by two KDM leaders in the Federal Cabinet namely Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau and Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili and one in the Prime Minister's Department namely Tan Sri Joseph Kurup and I believe they will have no problem proposing this to Najib," he said.

Source: dailyexpress