Celebrating the Rich Tapestry of East Malaysia  

  • Illustration of Borneo map featuring cultural elements and landmarks. The image includes the Kinabalu Tower, Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building, two people in traditional attire, hornbills, and the Rafflesia flower.
  • Hari Gawai and Kaamatan are celebrations of the rich culture and traditions of the indigenous communities in Sabah and Sarawak.
  • As we celebrate these festive occasions, we reflect on our commitment to the betterment of East Malaysia’s future.

Our country boasts a rich tapestry of cultural celebrations and festivals throughout the year. In East Malaysia, Hari Gawai and Kaamatan are two significant cultural festivals celebrated by the indigenous communities.

Hari Kaamatan, which falls on 30 and 31 May, is celebrated primarily by the Kadazan-Dusun and Murut communities in Sabah, while Hari Gawai takes place on 1 and 2 June, and is celebrated by the Dayak communities in Sarawak.

These festivals have deep-rooted traditions in honouring the bountiful rice harvest seasons, serving as a tribute to the abundance of food and crops blessed upon the land.

Today, these celebrations hold a profound significance for family reunions, drawing those far from home back to reconnect with their loved ones.

As we celebrate these festivals alongside our East Malaysian communities, we reflect on our journey as we work to advance quality education, healthcare and community enrichment across the nation.

Advancing Education and Community Support

Students chatting in Sunway College Library holding books diversity students.

Established in 2007, Sunway College Kuching (SCK) is part of our commitment to advancing inclusive and quality education across the country.

As a testament to SCK’s excellence in course management, course delivery and student support initiatives, it is a Gold-status Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) Approved Learning Partner (ALP), a prestigious recognition awarded to institutions which meets ACCA’s challenging performance targets.

Since its inception, SCK has awarded scholarships to hundreds of deserving students through the Jeffrey Cheah Foundation (JCF), making quality education accessible to all throughout the Borneo states.

Tan Sri Sir Dr Jeffrey Cheah contributing a cheque of RM400,000 for NKF in front of dialysis machines before a stage.

Tan Sri Sir Dr. Jeffrey Cheah, founding trustee of JCF contributed RM400,000 to fund the purchase of eight life-saving dialysis machines for NKF Kidney patients across East Malaysia.

In 2017, JCF collaborated with the Choir of Gonville & Caius College to hold “Choral Serenade to Music” charity concert, which featured the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and attracted over 1,100 guests to Sunway University, Sunway City Kuala Lumpur (SCKL).

Organised in support of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF), the concert’s proceeds, including a sum of RM400,000 from Tan Sri Sir Dr. Jeffrey Cheah KBE AO, were donated to fund eight dialysis machines for NKF kidney patients in dialysis centres across Sabah, Sarawak and Selangor.

Improving Healthcare Accessibility

In line with our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN-SDGs) particularly Goal 3: Good Health and Well-Being as well as to meet the growing demand for quality and accessible healthcare in East Malaysia, we expanded our presence in Kuching with two healthcare centres – Sunway Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) and Sunway Fertility Centre.

Sunway TCM Centre medical director Assoc. Prof. Dr. Lim Ren Jye shares that Malaysians in the Borneo states used to travel to SCKL for TCM treatments and procedures. With the opening of Sunway TCM in Kuching, they have the option to receive care closer to home.

The launch of Sunway Traditional and Complementary Medicine (TCM) Centre and Sunway Fertility Centre at Kuching in 2022.

Notably, both these centres have received numerous accolades for their remarkable contributions.

Sunway TCM received three awards namely Malaysia Health and Wellness Brand 2022 in the Traditional Medicine category, Healthcare Asia Award 2023 for Health and Wellness of the Year and Parent’s Choice Award 2024 for Best TCM Centre.

Meanwhile, Sunway Fertility Centre was awarded the Fertility Patient Experience Initiative of the Year in 2022, subsequently winning the Customer Service Initiative of the Year in 2023 and 2024 at the Healthcare Asia Awards.


At Sunway, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has always been a part of our DNA. We are committed to doing well by doing good and standing alongside communities nationwide through our flagship #SunwayforGood initiatives.

Alongside our long-term partner Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF), we have established the MAF-Sunway HOPE Borneo Project, pledging a five-year commitment of RM1 million annually to support three flagship programmes in East Malaysia.

This includes the Teratak Kasih Tok Nan Centre, a one-stop support centre for people living with HIV and their families to access HIV-related health, social and welfare services. It is the first establishment of its kind in Sarawak and was built in honour of the late Chief Minister of Sarawak, Pehin Sri Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Haji Adenan Satem in 2017.

Tan Sri Sir Dr. Jeffrey Cheah hands over a mock cheque to the Sarawak government on the stage for the MAF-Sunway HOPE Borneo Project.

The MAF-Sunway HOPE Borneo Project was officiated at Teratak Kasih Tok Nan by Tan Sri Sir Dr. Jeffrey Cheah and Sarawak Premier, Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri (Dr) Abang Haji Abdul Rahman Zohari bin Tun Datuk Abang Haji Openg, who was represented by Dato Sri Hajjah Fatimah Abdullah, the Sarawak Minister of Women, Childhood and Community Wellbeing Development and Professor Dato’ Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Chairman of MAF.

The MAF-Sunway HOPE Borneo Project also supports the Sarawak Health Access Programme and SAGA Health Access Programme, where low-income patients of chronic illness in East Malaysia are given cash incentives to cover the high cost of various logistical expenses required for their treatment.

Through this partnership, low-income individuals living with HIV can complete life-saving treatments at nearby hospitals, safely – advancing a key milestone for the local HIV/AIDS response.

As we celebrate our 50th anniversary this year, Sunway embraces the spirit and celebrations of Hari Gawai and Kaamatan, reaffirming our commitment to enhancing the prosperity of the communities we serve in East Malaysia.

Above all, we take this opportunity to wish a bountiful Pesta Kaamatan & Hari Gawai to all celebrating.

Selamat Pesta Kaamatan, Kotobian Tadau Tagazo Do Kaamatan!
Selamat Hari Gawai, Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai!


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