PENAMPANG – Maya Hejnowska (picture) has been named as the new Unduk Ngadau (harvest queen) in conjunction with the Kaamatan Festival 2021 celebrations.
The 20-year-old Kadazan-Polish beauty, representing the Api-Api state constituency, defeated 21 other finalists in a competition held at the Hongkod Koisaan KDCA Hall, in Penampang, today. She took home a total prize of RM66,800.30 which includes RM15,000 in cash and a RM35,000 education scholarship.
When met by reporters after the ceremony, Maya thanked her mother and other family members for encouraging her.
The first runner-up was Dianarin Vahidin representing the Ranau constituency while the second runner-up went to Febby Angelica Richard who represented Kundasang state constituency.
The pageant, which was held online this year, saw 79 participants, representing each state constituency in Sabah and four states in Peninsular Malaysia, before the final 21 participants competed for the title today.
Meanwhile, Sabah Chief Minister, Datuk Hajiji Noor, in a statement in conjunction with the closing ceremony of the Kaamatan Festival 2021, said that the festival was a cultural event for Kadazan, Dusun, Murut and Rungu, and other ethnic communities, as a sign of gratitude for a bountiful harvest.
“The Kaamatan Festival teaches us the importance of unity at the core in enhancing and strengthening peace in this state, which is rich in racial, ethnic and cultural diversity,” he said.
He added that in facing the challenges brought by COVID-19, especially involving the economy, the people were expected to cultivate closer unity to face the challenges ahead.