Longest Jelurut Kuih to highlight Gata Sipitang

By Hayati Dzulkifli

KOTA KINABALU: An attempt to make a 500-metre long Jelurut kuih to enter the Malaysia Book of Records (MBR) will highlight the 2nd Gata Sipitang festival this year.

Disclosing this Monday, Assistant Finance Minister cum event organising chairman Datuk Sapawi Ahmad said 12 mukims of the district will be involved in the making of the local goodie to be held during the event in Sipitang town on July 29-31.

"We are optimistic of achieving the feat with the cooperation of 110 villagers from the 12 mukims."We purposely chose `Jelurut' as one of the traditional goodies as it is very popular in the district.

"Getting into the MBR is a secondary thing as our main aim is to make the traditional kuih well-known to Malaysians outside Sabah and foreign tourists," he said.

Sapawi said this in a press conference held at Wisma Kewangan on Monday. Also present were Sipitang District Officer Yunos Ashmat and other main committee members.

Minister of Agriculture and Agro-based Industry, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yasin, is expected to launch the festival while the closing will be officiated by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.

Sapawi is confident the festival would attract more than 20,000 domestic and foreign visitors especially from Sarawak and Brunei Darussalam.

Sapawi, who is also Sindumin Assemblyman, said the biennial festival was first held in Sipitang town on July 25 to 27, 2003 and that it attracted almost 20,000 tourists.

In the Gata Festival 2003, he said, they had succeeded in making the biggest top and the longest traditional delicacy called `kelupis', both of which were recorded in the MBR.

"The purpose of conducting the three-day festival is aimed at promoting Sipitang as a tourist destination as well as preserving the cultural and traditional customs of various communities in the district."

The festival will also feature a top-spinning competition for which participation 14 teams have confirmed participation - Sabah, Labuan, Kelantan, Melaka, Negri Sembilan, and Sarawak.

It will also feature a carnival of local goodies, people's sports featuring diverse traditional sports, tug-of-war, silat competition, a remote control car competition, Bintang Gata Sipitang, photography competition, and Malam Citra Budaya featuring AF2 artistes like Adam and Bob.

Further information can be obtained from the Finance Ministry at 088-253319/318845 or the Sipitang District Office at 087-821963/821965.


Taken from : Daily Express (12 July  2005, page 4)

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