US Third MEF Band plays "Original Sabahan" as locals break into Sumazau

Olivia Miwil

KOTA KINABALU: Public especially locals at Lintasan Deasoka here began to dance “Sumazau” as a band from United States Marine Corps performed “Original Sabahan.”

The band, also known as Third Marine Expeditionary Force (MEF), performed for an hour before the ensemble ended with the song by Atmosfera Feat Floor 88.

Its ensemble leader Sergeant Colin Deeter, 22, from Chicago, United States, said they knew about ‘Original Sabah’ song from a local a week before the band arrived here and took a short time to practice it.

“We usually perform funky, jazz and R&B songs but this song is fun and catchy to play,” he said.

United States Embassy Environment, Science and Technology officer West Follmer said the band is the sole representative of the United States Marine Corps in the East Asia and Pacific region.

The ensemble is in Kota Kinabalu in conjunction with the Cooperation Afloat readiness and Training, a series of annual bilateral military exercises conducted by US Pacific fleet with several members of The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Southeast Asia.

“They make it a priority to participate in community outreach programmes including international military band festivals.

“Besides military cooperation, what underpins the US-Malaysia relationship, and what has lasted over the years, is our mutual respect and appreciation

“Our people to people connection., whether through business, education, environmental conservation, family,or even music, we share the same hopes and aspirations,”he said.

This week the band performed at schools in Tamparuli, Sindumin, Sipitang, Kuala Penyu as well as at the Sepanggar Naval base near here.

Meanwhile, Sabah Tourism, Culture and Environment minister Christina Liew commended the joint effort by Kota Kinabalu City Hall and the US embassy to organise the event which would strengthen good relations and friendship between Sabah and the United States .

Liew’s speech was read by her political secretary Vivien Lee.

Also present was Kota Kinabalu mayor Datuk Yeo Boon Hai. © New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd