By ILONA ANDREW
KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government will be organising online-based Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Queen pageant) and Sugandoi (singing) contests to honour the tradition of the Kaamatan Festival despite the global Covid-19 pandemic.
Speaking during a press conference, organising chairman Datuk Peter Anthony said the contests are open to all Sabahans, including those in the peninsula, who are not camera-shy as submissions must be done in a form of recorded video.
Participants can submit their videos to the designated Facebook pages (Sugandoi Artist Management and Unduk Ngadau 2020) where details of the rules and regulations about the contest can be obtained from the respective page.
However, the use of digital filters or any form or digital alteration to achieve certain looks are strictly prohibited.
“The top seven Sugandoi winner and runner-ups would each take home RM6,000, RM4,000 and RM3,000 respectively, and RM1,000 for fourth to seventh places. Those placed eight to 65th would receive RM500.
“Meanwhile, Unduk Ngadau winner would be crowned with a handsome prize of RM18,000 while runner-ups would get RM13,000 and RM10,000.
“Those placed fourth to seventh would receive RM7,000, RM5,000, RM4,000, and RM3,000 respectively, RM2,000 for eighth- to twentieth-place, and the rest down to 65th will get RM1,500,” he said at the city Public Works Department headquarters, here.
According to the president of the Kadazandusun Murut Association, contestants will not be representing any given district and the public can cast their votes on Facebook that allow contestants to advance to the finals.
The finalists of both the competitions will need to be present at the Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA) hall for the grand finals on May 30 and 31.
This means that participants residing outside of Sabah if selected as finalists must be able to return to the state and undergo a quick screening of Covid-19 upon their arrival.
At the grand finals, participants will be facing the panel of judges on stage. A live video will be streamed on Facebook for the public as presence of audience will not be allowed.
“I don’t think there will be any problem to use the approach of organising the competitions online.
“Due to the current pandemic, this is the least that the state government can do to uphold the Kaamatan tradition,” said Peter, who is also the state’s minister of infrastructure development.
He added that no ceremonies will be held throughout the grand finals and the approaches for prize-giving and crowning have yet to be decided.
Those who are interested to participate must be at least the 18 years old and unmarried. Submissions can be done starting Sunday and the closing date is on May 29.