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By Sandra Sokial

KOTA KINABALU, April 2:

The entertainment element for this year’s 11th Kalimaran Festival will be toned down in view of the search for the missing Malaysia Airlines (MAS) flight MH370.

Describing the missing aircraft as “a sad situation”, Assistant Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Kamarlin Ombi said while the organisers would triy not to go overboard in entertainment, they would ensure the public was still entertained.

“The festival is basically a cultural celebration, it is not a concert. But having said that, we will still tone down on the entertainment throughout the three-day event,” he said.

In addition, he said the Tolak Bala (literally translated as preventing turmoil) is set to be the latest attraction in this year’s Kalimaran Fest, the annual Murut community’s cultural celebration.

Scheduled between April 11 and 13, the cultural celebration, to be held at the Murut Cultural Centre in Tenom, is aimed at preserving the uniqueness and beauty of the cultural ethnicity of the Murut community.

Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman is expected to officiate the celebration on April 13.

“The Tolak Bala, which is also performed by other ethnic groups in Sabah, is like a cultural ritual to ensure smooth running of the annual celebration,” he explained, adding that the Kalimaran Festival is organised by the state government with the cooperation of the Sabah Cultural Board and Tenom District Office as well as the Sabah Murut Association.

Kalimaran refers to the craftsmanship of the Murut community and folklore involving a young Murut woman called Ralaa who was sacrificed by her brother to revive his padi farm.

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