SEMPORNA, April 27 — The Regatta Lepa water festival in Semporna will be held on a much bigger scale in the future, said Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Jaujan Sambakong.
He said there would also be bigger participation of the Bajau Sama ethnic group from other districts like Kota Belud, Kudat and Sandakan.
(Lepa refers to indigenous boats of the Bajau Sama people.)
“We will involve them as this celebration is not for Semporna only but it’s a Sabah Regatta Lepa water festival,” Jaujan, who is also the organising committee chairman, told reporters after watching the lepa parade or beautifully decorated boats in conjunction with the silver anniversary celebration of the Semporna Regatta Lepa at Marine Lepa Square here today.
The parade was graced by Sabah Governor Tun Juhar Mahiruddin. Also present was his wife Toh Puan Norlidah RM Jasni.
Jaujan said more than 700 lepa participated in the festival this year, making it the largest in its series.
Even the gloomy weather and drizzle failed to stop the parade or dampen the mood at the Regatta Lepa, he added. — Bernama