This time of year, a large portion of Malaysians from our easternmost states celebrate two festivals that are unique to the Borneo region. Kaamatan and Gawai Dayak are observed by the native Sabah and Sarawak community in Malaysia, and nowhere else in the world. While we strive forward to transform into a fully-developed high-income nation, let us not relinquish the time-honoured traditions that have long been woven into the fabric of our identity as a people.
I believe that Kaamatan and Gawai Dayak present an opportunity for the Malaysians to showcase our cultural and ethnic diversity to the world. It starts with us on home soil, to learn more and appreciate the richness of Malaysian heritage. To Malaysians from Sabah and Sarawak, I hope you share your culture with pride and open your doors to your fellow citizens from the peninsula. To Malaysians in the Peninsula, take this opportunity to explore and discover the wealth we possess as a multi-cultural people.
Lastly, I wish all Malaysians celebrating these festivals Kotobian tadau tagazo do Kaamatan (Selamat menyambut Kaamatan) and Selamat Hari Gawai, gayu guru gerai nyamai (long life, health and prosperity).