Sunday, December 30, 2007

Tuaran Tamu Besar & Cultural Festival 2007

The much-awaited Tamu Besar and Cultural Festival 2007 of the Tuaran District in Sabah was launched by Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak this morning, Sunday, two days before the New Year. Tamu Besar literally means Big Market and is a culmination of the weekly open market held in Tuaran every Sunday. An estimated 20,000 people thronged the Tuaran town field where the major event was held since yesterday. Najib (son of Malaysia's 2nd prime minister Tun Abdul Razak) was accompanied by his wife Datin Seri Rosmah. Also present were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman and wife.

It was indeed a memorable day for the people of the Tuaran district (which includes the Tamparuli sub-district) as for the first time in the history of the Tamu Besar, it was officiated by the nation's No. 2 leader. And the crowd was one of the biggest, if not the biggest, ever gathered in Tuaran. On top of that, Datuk Seri Najib brought good news to the peope of Tuaran today. He announced that a new district hospital costing RM 120 million will be built in Tuaran while the new Water Treatment Plant and Water Supply Project at Telibong costing more than RM300 million will be completed in April 2008. The completion of the water project will mean that water shortage in the Tuaran district and nearby areas will soon be a thing of the past.

The happiest man this morning therfore must have been Datuk Haji Hajiji Haji Noor, the State Assemblyman for Sulaman (part of the Tuaran parliamentary constituency). The Tamu Besar & Cultural Festival was, afterall, prompted by him and and he personally saw to its success from the start; guiding District Officer and organising chairman Awang Shamsi every step of the way. Being Sabah's Minister for Local Government and Housing, Hajiji is the most senior politician from Tuaran.

Equally happy were the three other elected People's Representatives from the Tuaran District - Tuaran Member of Parliament Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau as well as State Assemblymen Datuk Louis Rampas (Kiulu) and Jahid Jahim (Tamparuli).
Pretty maidens, dressed in traditional costumes of the various races from the Tuaran District (Bajau, Dusun & Chinese) waiting for the arrival of the Guest-of-Honour.
'Host' Hajiji and wife Datin Juliah (left) getting ready for Najib's arrival.
A 'fruitful' souvenir from Hajiji (left) to the Chief Minister.
United Sabah Dusun Association (USDA) president Datuk Kalakau Untol (left) explaining to Najib and Musa and their wives the Dusun Lotud wedding ceremony while Hajiji (right) looks on.
Part of the Dusun Lotud wedding ceremony witnessed by Najib, where representatives from both sides are seen negotiaiting the dowry and other gifts.
This 'all-girl band' completes the Dusun Lotud ceremony.
Another mock wedding ceremony witnessed by Najib, from the Bajau or Sama community of Tuaran.
Najib and wife congratulating the Bajau 'couple'.
Bajau girls at the 'wedding ceremony'.
Pretty Bajau maidens accompanying the 'couple'. (Please click on all pics for larger view)