Tonight is the last night, tomorrow morning adieu. The Pesta Air concert presents Jamal Abdillah and Aliyah..A full turn-out is expected. 8 pm.
But here I am sitting in my room, thinking of what I had gained the last three days I have been here. Labuan has certainly developed but not as fast as a free port and an "Ujana Kewangan" ( Offshore Financial Center ) should. Why? As an observer I could only see for one thing that the shops are closed on Sunday, the shopping day for visitors and the free day for sailors and people working on ships. Saturday and Sunday should be the culmination of business activities for the week if Labuan is to grown into a thriving international trade and business center. The island needs more human attractions....
Hey, at 8.30 a car came to fetch me. the roads to the venue were all jam-packed. I've just returned from the concert. Nothing spectacular. Aside from the routine dance performance (see pic) Jamal and Aliyah were singing with no live band accompaniment or dancers to break the monotony.
The crowd was subdued and unexcited. The songs...heard a thousand times over the radio and tv. Too much time was taken by the award-giving ceremony to the champion fishermen of the Deep Sea Fishing Contest one of whom caught a 50kg tuna and another a 20kg baracuda. The firework was routine. YBM Raja Nongcik, the Federal Territory Minister, himself presented the awards to the winners with little or no hand-clappings from the restless audience, waiting for the show. (No pic is necessary for this routine affair).
In all the crowd of people of all ages filling the huge International Marine Sports Complex, my attention was by attracted by a sole lady worker going back and forth in front of where I sat on the side of a ladder placed against a pillar post to watch the concert from a distance. She was nonchalantly collecting the rubbish strewn about by the crowd and dumping it into a huge plastic bag. A very dedicated employee of the cleaning-up agency, certainly.(See pic).
Just after the fireworks, thunder and lightnings started to compete with the music from the concert. The wind started to blow and people began to move away. I too made a hasty retreat to my transport and hit for home at the hotel. I thought that's the end of the sojourn.
But at 10.30 pm or so, it was Karaoke time for the officers from Semenanjung involved in organizing the Pesta. Time to relax a little and I was invited to join them. I never knew that all the officers were talented singers and the karaoke room rocked with music, songs, wriggling and rocking movements (short of dancing) and laughter. It probably was the best part of the Pesta as some of the pics would show. It was a good closure for my sojourn.
Well, that seems to round up my record of the sojourn. Labuan is certainly a worthwhile place to visit and Tourism Malaysia or the Ministry of Tourism can certainly help to plan a good stay.