By Siti Hajar in Sandakan
The Malaysian state of Sandakan was full of energy over the weekend as its people gathered in the city centre to observe the Sandakan Festival, which celebrates the importance of various ethnicities and cultures and, most importantly, solidarity.
A first in the Sandakan Festival's 12-year history, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam consented to officiate the yearly event as part of His Majesty's one-day visit in a show of support for the efforts made by the people of Sandakan in promoting peace and harmony among the approximate 300,000 people.
Various artistes, including renowned Jamal Abdillah who performed his famous 'Gadis Melayu', were invited to perform for the monarch, and others including Sabah's Chief Minister and the Governor of Sabah, other high-ranking government officials and VIP guests.
The cheering of thousands amidst the sound, music and fireworks echoed throughout Sandakan late into the night as dancers and singers gave their all for what was described by the Chief Minister as a "historical event" referring to His Majesty's appreciated presence.
- Borneo Bulletin
(5 March 2012)