Babulang Festival platform to showcase Bisaya heritage and identity, says Awang Tengah

Awang Tengah (front, first left) officiating at the Babulang Festival and Buffalo Race at the Sarawak Bisaya Association Cultural Centre on Saturday (June 4, 2022).

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KUCHING, June 6: The Babulang Festival is a platform for Limbang District’s Bisaya community to showcase their culture, language, art, and traditions to the general public, and it must be protected because it is the Bisaya race’s heritage and identity, says Sarawak Deputy Premier Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan.

According to a news report published today by the Sarawak Public Communication Unit (Ukas), Awang Tengah made these remarks while officiating at the 17th/2022 Babulang Festival and Buffalo Race at the Sarawak Bisaya Association Cultural Centre, Kampung Batu Danau Limbang on Saturday (June 4).

He was representing Sarawak Premier Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg at the event.

“Because we are diverse in Sarawak in terms of race, religion, customs, culture, and other differences, we must accept and celebrate this diversity.

“We must celebrate our diversity because we are a multi-racial society,” Awang Tengah said.

Awang Tengah, who is also the Second Minister for Natural Resources and Urban Development and the Minister of International Trade, Industry, and Investment in Sarawak, stated that community life in Sarawak is not solely focused on a small group of people but it has a strong and sturdy spirit of tolerance.

“Even if we marry someone of a different race or religion, that will not change our race; if we are Bisaya, we will remain Bisaya, if we are Iban, we will remain Iban, if we are Malay, we will remain Malay, and if we are Chinese, we will remain Chinese, so there is no issue,” he said.

He went on to say that Sarawak is unique in that its people can live together, respect each other, and live in harmony despite the State’s diversity.

Meanwhile, during the ceremony, the Deputy Premier announced a RM100,000 allocation for the Sarawak Bisaya Association’s activities.

Also present were federal Deputy Minister of Rural Development and Limbang Member of Parliament (MP) Datuk Hasbi Habibollah, Batu Danau assemblyman Paulus Palu Gumbang, Ministry of Public Health, Housing, and Local Government permanent secretary and Sarawak Bisaya Association advisor Datu Antonio Kahti Galis, Persatuan Bisaya Sarawak president-cum-Sarawak Land Consolidation & Rehabilitation Authority (Salcra) general manager Joseph Blandoi, Acting Limbang Resident-cum-2022 Babulang Festival and Buffalo Race main committee chairman Sebi Abang and Temenggong Nicholas Boyok Pura. — DayakDaily