24th April, 2016
Tun Juhar arriving to officiate the festival
By NAZRINI BADARUN
SEMPORNA: The Lepa Regatta Festival can give a lot of benefits and positive impacts on the economy particularly the State’s tourism industry, said Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman.
As such, he said the State government had always been supportive of efforts and initiatives by every district to showcase their respective unique cultures and traditions.
“The State government allocated a budget for this year’s regatta through Sri Pelancongan Sabah, an agency under the Tourism, Culture & Environment Ministry.
“Despite the slow economy and prudent expenditure, the State government remained committed in funding this festival every year to ensure its success,” he said in his speech text read by Assistant Finance Minister Datuk Ramlee Marhaban at the launch of the 23rd Lepa Regatta here on Saturday.
The festival was officiated by the Yang DiPertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.
Musa said the festival which had its own uniqueness and significance was not only celebrated by the Bajau community in the area but the excitement and its uniqueness were enjoyed and celebrated by people from all walks of life in the country.
“This festival had attracted many tourists from inside and outside Sabah, especially those in Semporna.
“And, in my opinion, this festival is the Bajau’s legacy and it should be preserved,” he said.
At the same time, Musa also welcomed the initiative by the organiser for being creative in the festival’s itinerary that included an international seminar on the history and culture of the Bajau community.
“This international event was very timely as such an effort would provide knowledge and give a broad academic exposure,” he added.
Also present were the Governor’s wife Toh Puan Hajah Norlidah RM Jasni, Semporna MP Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Assistant Tourism, Culture & Environment Ministers Datuk Pang Yuk Ming and Datuk Kamarlin Ombi, Brunei’s envoy to Malaysia Dato Paduka Haji Alaihuddin Bin Mohd Taha and local community leaders.