Rep lauds tagang fish rearing system
By:Lynch Cowan
KCH-ptagangfest-3108-man 2

KUCHING: The Semadang International Tagang Festival has successfully created awareness among the public the importance of having clean rivers.

Assistant Minister of Transport Datuk Dr Jerip Susil said the annual festival held at Kampung Semadang near here manifested the villagers’ commitment in safeguarding the cleanliness of their waterways and the environment.

The fifth edition of the festival which is associated with the tagang fish rearing system was held from August 29th to 31st this year.

Dr Jerip (squatting) releases fish fry into Semadang River to launch the 5th Semadang International Tagang Festival 2019. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

“The Semadang tagang system launched in 2007 has been very successful in getting the villagers to take good care of the river and the fishes in it,” said Dr Jerip, who is also Mambong assemblyman when officiating at the festival on Saturday.

He urged those residing along the Semadang River to participate in the tagang system to ensure the cleanliness of the river and its environment.

Anglers enjoy the scenery along Semadang river as they fish. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

“The festival is growing and is able to attract more visitors this year and I am looking forward to a bigger festival next year,” Dr Jerip said while announcing an allocation of RM50,000 for next year’s festival.

Festival director Robert Kenneth said the three-day festival had attracted thousands of visitors, both locals and foreigners.

Participants with fishing tackles waiting for a catch.

“They included people from neighbouring villages as well as tourists who came to stay at homestays provided by the villagers.

“It is everything I dreamed of. It is a festival that we can call our own and which Kampung Semadang folks are proud of because we created and developed it to what it is today,” Robert said.

Anglers getting their rod and line ready.

He said that this year’s festival saw greater participation from among the locals and the surrounding communities as well as foreign tourists including from Germany, Korea, China, Indonesia and Pakistan who stayed overnight at homestays in the village.

Robert said for next year, promotion will be launched early to attract bigger participation in activities such as bamboo rafting and kayak race.

“With a bigger site and allocation given by Dr Jerip for the festival next year, I am optimistic that the turnout will be greater,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Miss Tagang beauty pageant was won by 18-year-old student of Unitar International University Kuching, Vanessa Tinella Patrus, a Bidayuh lass from Kampung Semeba. She won RM1,500 cash.

Datuk Jerip (third left) and his wife (his left) with the Miss Tagang beauty pageants

First runner-up went to Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (Unimas) student Lydia Yuareena Abdul Ellias, 25, from Kampung Semerah Padi, Kuching, who took home RM1,000, while Suziana Damik, 22, from Kuching was placed third and pocketed RM500 cash prize.

Suziana was also adjudged Miss Tagang Popular 2019.

Dr Jerip’s wife, Datin Lee Chia Fong and last year’s Miss Tagang, Chris Hazel crowned the winners.

BIG CATCH… An angler shows off a fish that he just caught. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

In the fishing competition, Adres Jihog from Bau won both the first and second prizes for the biggest catch category. He walked away with a total of RM1,000 cash prize, trophies and fishing equipment.

Third place went to a participant from Kelantan, Ahmad Fakrie with his catch of ikan lampam weighing 1.045kg.

In the Bidayuh traditional dance and gong beating competition, ‘Kelab Kebudayaan Persatuan Segu Bunuk’ was adjudged the champion.

They won cash prize of RM1,000, trophy and certificate.

First runner-up went to Bung Siburan Heritage Association cultural troupe and third Onak Triyu Kampung Opar, Bau who received RM700 and RM500 respectively.

Dr Jerip samples some Bidayuh dishes served by participants in a cooking competition. Photo: Mohd Alif Noni

In the cooking competition, Geogina Clare Nyotis and her sister, Nejee Nyotis were adjudged the champion while first runner-up and second runner-up went to Vera Mamah and Elisa Sarimah respectively.

The three-day festival which ended yesterday was jointly organised by JKKK Kampung Semadang, Jawatankuasa Sistem Tagang Kampung Semadang and supported by the Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture and Ministry of Transport, Hornbill Skyways Sdn Bhd, Nang Ori Sdn Bhd and Nestle Products Sdn Bhd.

The tranquil view of the Semadang river.

New Sarawak Tribune e-Paper

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