"We're Malaysians" — Sabahans & Sarawakians Parade Through KL In Traditional Garb

The group's visit to West Malaysia was to celebrate the Kaamatan Festival and Hari Gawai.

Cover image via @greatsam (Instagram)

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Videos of a group of Sabahans and Sarawakians parading through the streets of Kuala Lumpur in traditional garb to celebrate and share their culture and heritage have gone viral on Instagram recently

The videos, taken by Filmmakers Co founder Samuel Wong, show the journey of some 98 members of Gabungan Orang Asal Sabah and Sarawak (GOASS) flying from Borneo to West Malaysia and interacting with the locals here.

Led by Peter John Jaban, the videos show them posing in front of an airasia flight for photos, as well as dancing and partying on the airplane, before finally visiting RedQ, the airline's headquarters located near KLIA Terminal 2 — all while clad in 'sirat' (loincloth) and 'baju gagung' (Iban traditional warrior vest), among other traditional wear.

GOASS' visit to West Malaysia was in conjunction with the Kaamatan Festival and Hari Gawai, which is celebrated on 30 May and 1 June, public holidays in Sabah and Sarawak, respectively.

"'Agi idup agi ngelaban' means 'While you live, you must fight. While you still breathe, you must fight.' Never give up.

"Take a break, can. Once you give up, you are considered defeated," Peter shared the popular saying from his culture with hundreds of airasia employees.

The group leader also shared another phrase, 'Sabah onsoi', which means 'Sabahans are the best'.

The videos touched thousands of Malaysians' hearts on Instagram, invigorating the spirit of unity within them.

"Sam, you don't know how much you have woken the Malaysian spirit in every one of us. Your video has brought meaning to our identities as Malaysians. Carry on your good work, brother," read a top comment.

"Selamat Hari Kaamatan and Selamat Hari Gawai to Sabahans and Sarawakians! Thank you [for] such a great capture! Please spread this to people who still don't know [about] Sabah and Sarawak. Thank you [to the] whole team who flew to West Malaysia to spread our East Malaysia spirit. May God bless all of you!" wrote a netizen.

You can find many such comments in Wong's videos.  

In a 51-second video, the group can be seen proudly parading through Kuala Lumpur, dancing, playing drums, and chanting while they stroll down the streets that lead to Central Market

They can also be seen taking the LRT on their journey, with aunties and uncles talking to them as if to inquire about their beautiful costumes.

"There were people asking us earlier when we walked along Petaling Street, 'Are you guys Indonesians?' I said, 'No, we are Malaysians!'," Peter said.

"Yes, we are all Malaysians, despite our (different) looks. We got all kinds of religions in Sarawak, and we live in harmony... and this is what we want," he told passers-by.

According to Bernama, the group's parade in the heart of Kuala Lumpur took place on 20 May. It was part of the attraction for the Borneo Native Festival, which lasted three days at Central Market.

A total of 84 booths were opened to sell handicrafts and traditional delicacies by Sabahan and Sarawakian entrepreneurs.

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