MUKAH: The  Melanau ethnic annual festival, Mukah Kaul Festival 2018 would proceed as planned, from  April  21 to 29.

This was disclosed by the incumbent Mukah Member of  Parliament, Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Leo Toyad at a press conference held at Menara Pehin Setia Raja yesterday.

“I am pleased to announce that this year’s Kaul Festival will proceed as scheduled, although one of the activities, the official opening, falls on April 28, coincides with the nomination day for the general election,” he said.

He pointed out that the rest of the activities would go on in accordance with the programme and believed that this annual festival would be able to pull the crowd as it used to.

Dr Toyad, who is also Federation of  Melanau Associations Sarawak(FMAS) President, was however unable to  disclose who would officiate the programme.

“As it coincides with the election period, we could not confirm yet who would officiate this year’s Kaul, It could be our Head of State, Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud or  Chief Minister, Datuk Patinggi Johari Tun Openg. It could be both, who knows,” he said.

Earlier, he chaired the final meeting on staging the event; focusing on the readiness of the sub-committees regarding their respective activities to be held throughout the festival.

“Our activities are for all walks of life and inclusiveness is the right word. We also open  the door to the private or public agencies who wish to participate and sponsor the event of their choice,” he said.

Like in the previous decades, the festival would be staged at Taman Kala Dana, located about five minute’s drive from Mukah Town Center.

This major crowd pulling programme would kick-off with the Kaul Serahang Kakan to be staged at the delta or Tugek of Kala Dana Beach on Saturday morning (April 21).

Also present at the press conference were Tellian State Assemblyman who is also Kuching Melanau Association Chairman, Yussibnosh Balo, Balingian State Assemblyman who is also Mukah Melanau Association(MMA) Chairman, Abdul Yakub Haji Arbi, Mukah Division Resident, Awang Johari Awang Mustapha, Mukah District Officer, Safrie Saili, and Temenggong Haji Hendi Haji Suhai.

With the theme of `Menjunjung Adat Memperkasa Tradisi’, the auspicious occasion is organised by FMAS in collaboration with Mukah Resident Office.