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LP/24/08/03 Wednesday, August 20, 2003

KUCHING, Wed:- Once again at this time of the year, the Ikan Buntal (Pufferfish) season is back to create an air of festivity and fun to the people in Saribas area in Betong Division, in particular the people of Kampung Manggut in Spaoh, the host of this year's Ikan Buntal Festival.

Deputy Chief Minister, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Dr. Alfred Jabu ak.. Numpang, who is also the Minister of Land and Rural Development will launch the festival on Sunday, August 24 at 2:00 p.m.

Upon arrival on Sunday morning in the area by helicopter from the State Capital, Tan Sri Datuk Amar Jabu will inspect the site of Air Sadap (nipah sugar) production before joining the people to witness a mini-regatta and Ikan Buntal fishing competitions that have been lined up as part of the festival's programme.

Later, in the afternoon, he will present prizes to winners of the fishing competitions before being taken on a tour of a mini-development exhibition nearby.

The festival, the second to be organised by Betong District Office, include other events such as football competitions for men and women, tug-of-war, also open to men and women, ketupat weaving competitions, colouring contest for primary school students and a karaoke competition.

Some of the competitions start tomorrow and will culminate in the mini-regatta on the Saribas river on Sunday.

The pufferfish catching competition using traditional methods will be held in a designated area between Tanjung Matu (near Kampung Manggut) and Tanjung Nangka near Kampung Supa in Sapoh.

The inaugral event last year received an overwhelming response from the people as thousands of people from as far as the Capital City and Sibu converged at the quiet village, which is about 45-minute drive from Betong.

To add to the air of festivity last year, about 400 boats of all shapes and sizes took part in the traditional Ikan fishing competition where fishing gears such as jaring, nyagang, bubu and tanggok were used.

KUCHING (Disediakan pada jam 2.30 petang)


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