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Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Society of Kadazan and the Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS)

“The Kadazan community consists of many groups or tribes, namely the Tengaah of Penampang-Papar, the Liwan of Ranau-Tambunan, the Kuijau of Keningau, the Lotud of Tuaran, and the Kemaragang of Kota Marudu-Tandek. the Runggus of Matunggong, the Bongi of Pulau Banggi Kudat, the Idaan or Tindal of Kota Belud, the Bisaya of Beaufort, the Sungai of Kinabatangan and not to forget the Tatana of Kuala Penyu. There are many more sub-tribes such as the Buludupis and the Dumpaas of Beluran and many more. These are the people who fall under the Kadazan category but today they are generally referred to as Kadazandusuns. This new terminology (Kadazandusun) had been accepted by many to refer to the same speech community and to avoid further misunderstanding among the community. The term Kadazandusun however is not yet accepted as the official name for the same speech community in Sabah.” – Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Herman J. Luping wrote in his KSS Inauguration and Installation Souvenir message at the function held on 27th January 2007. The Formation of the Society of Kadazan and its objectives in 1953. When the British Colonial Government started identifying and defining the various natives of North Borneo, the off springs of those female Kadazan people who were married to non-natives were identified as Sino-Kadazan, and were accorded with the Native status by virtue of the Government Legislation. Erstwhile, they were not recognized then as natives of North Borneo per se until the British Government had made the legislation to include them as natives. This was made possible through the initiative of the Society of Kadazan. The Society of Kadazan was registered on 24th August 1953 and was led by Mr. Lee Kim Cheong as its first President and Mr. Richard Yap as its Secretary, while O.T. Tinoi from Kg. Tuavon was appointed as the Patron. Both Lee and Richard were Sino-Kadazan and whose mothers were pure Kadazan. The main objectives of the Society were, among others, to get the Sino-Kadazan or Sino-Dusun to be accorded with the native status and the privileges as enjoyed by the Kadazan; to have the Kadazan Harvest Festival declared as a public holiday and the elevation of the Kadazan standard of living. These objectives were achieved through the Society. In consequence thereof, the colonial Government introduced the Native Certificates which were issued to the ‘Sinos’ in recognition of them as kadazans, thus natives of North Borneo henceforth. This recognition of ‘Sinos’ as having native status was further manifested by the appointment of a Sino-Kadazan in the person of Fedelis Tan Ping Hing as the first Native Chief in the Native Court of Penampang District. At the Society’s AGM in 1957, Donald Stephens who was interested to join the Society was welcomed by its President, Mr. Lee Kim Chuan. Donald Stephen was elected as the President at the Society’s AGM the following year. It was a joint effort between Donald Stephens and OKK Sodomon Gunsanad from Keningau who fought hard to gain the vital recognition of the Kadazan Harvest Festival. Through them, the Kadazan Harvest Festival now known as Pesta Ka’amatan was recognized and declared as a public holiday by the Colonial Government since 1960. After having achieved its main objectives, and due to the advent of politics heralding the pre-independence of North Borneo through the formation of Malaysia, the Society of Kadazan gradually became dormant from its active societal commitment from 1960. Henceforth, the Kadazan Harvest Festival celebration was organized by ad-hoc committee in various kampong levels. It was only in 1964 that a cultural body was registered under the Kadazan Cultural Association with Fred Sinidol as its first Chairman. The main objective of this Association was to promote Kadazan cultures, in particular the organization of the Annual Kadazan Harvest Festival, now known as Pesta Ka’amatan or “Ka’amatan”. The Kadazan Cultural Association (KCA) has been renamed as KadazanDusun Cultural Association (KDCA) since 1989. The Registration and Launching of the Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS). The Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) was registered on 19th May 2006 and was officially inaugurated on 27th January 2007 at the Hotel Pacific Sutra. Its first President, Marcel Leiking was honourably installed by Datuk Sikodol Maludang, a respected Kadazan Elder from Penampang, in accordance with Article 4 of the approved aims and objectives of the Kadazan Society Constitution, that is, “to assist with greater effort to develop and preserve the traditions; customs; culture; economy and language of the Kadazans”. Datuk Sikodol Maludang is one of the exceptional, prominent and dedicated Government Civil Servant who retired as the Director of Agriculture Department in 1977 and is already 88 years old. Datuk Seri Dr. Herman Luping viewed the registration and launching of the KSS as a revival of the Society of Kadazan established in 1953. In his message in the KSS Inaugural and Installation Souvenir Book, Datuk Seri Dr. Herman Luping wrote [...] “the formation of the present Kadazan Society Sabah headed by Marcel Leiking is not only timely but should also be welcomed by all Kadazans. I believe that this new Kadazan Society is not meant to challenge the well established KadazanDusun Cultural Association (KDCA) but rather this new association (KSS) should be viewed as both supplementary and complimentary to the established KDCA. It is some time said by our detractors that the mantle of leadership of the KDCA had jumped over the Crocker Range instead of the normal Pogun Savat leaders—i.e the once powerful “Penampang Boys”, but I am sure that present Penampang leaders do not lose any sleep over this misplaced perception. And so, just as we accept the leadership of the present KDCA, particularly, Huguan Siou Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan, there is no reason why we should not welcome and accept the leadership of the present Kadazan Society Sabah”. He also hoped that “the new Kadazan Association (KSS) would grow from strength to strength”. Datuk Seri Dr. Herman further enlightened that ... “various centres in Sabah, namely at Tawau, Sandakan, Lahad Datu and Kudat formed Kadazan Associations in these areas. In Tawau, the Association was known as the Tawau Kadazan Welfare Society and the people behind the formation of the Tawau Kadazan Society were two brothers, Primus Sikayun and Bruno Sikayun. In Sandakan, a Kadazan Sandakan Association was also established and three people were in the forefront in the formation of this association namely Peter Andau, Gilbert Rajatin and Peter Tiwin. In Kudat, Datuk Joe Manjaji who was then a Senior Police officer in the district spearheaded the formation of the Kudat Kadazan Association assisted by Michael Wong (Fadzil). In Lahad Datu, two brothers from Kampung Dabak, Penampang namely Lo Ah Pan and Anthony Loh Ah Kuan formed the Lahad Datu Kadazan Association”. “Even in Brunei, there were also a lot of Kadazans working in Seria Brunei (Shell Petroleum), and so an association was formed with Fidelis Jupining as the leader assisted by Alphonsus Golinsu Lojiu; Francis Henty Lee and Thadeus Yong to mention a few,” he added. In reference to the various Kadazan Associations and Welfare Societies that sprung up after 1960, Datuk Seri Herman wrote: [...] “The formation of the Kadazan Association (KSS) in Penampang as well as in the various centres mentioned above was a logical consequence of the feeling of the Kadazan community about their community, their culture, their language and their heritage at the time. They felt that it was necessary to group together to advance the community and when the formation of Malaysia was proposed, it was also a logical consequence that leaders in these associations were in the forefront to meet the new challenges and the new historical political development in the State. Indeed, these leaders of the past were the pillars of the community and they should be remembered for their contributions”. From Kadazan Cultural Association (KCA) to KadazanDusun Cultural Association (KDCA). Meanwhile, Datuk Dr. Clarence B. Malakun commented that the registration and inauguration of the Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) was timely. He expressed his sadness over “the name of the Kadazan Cultural Association (KCA) changed to Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) on 5th November 1989 during the KCA Delegates Conference”. “I went along with the resolution at the time in the name of ‘cooperation and unity’ amongst our beloved people,” he added. He further said that “[...] little did we realise that at the stroke of the pen, the Kadazans disappeared to become overnight the “Kadazandusuns”, whilst the Dusuns continued to exist as a separate entity and with no change within the United Sabah Dusun Association (USDA).” It was, I believe, the understanding between the Presidents of KCA and USDA that the latter would supposedly be disbanded once the word “Dusun” was included after changing the Association name from “Kadazan Cultural Association” to “KadazanDusun Cultural Association”. The ‘disbandment’ was never materialised, and the USDA continued to exist to look after the affairs of its community, whilst the Kadazan community was left without a community Association to look after its affairs and its identity. “The USDA was correct. The KCA was sacrificed,” Datuk Clarence added. The majority of the Kadazans were, and still are, under the impression that their affairs and identity are under the purview of KDCA – far from it! KDCA is mainly, among others, concentrating on the preservation of Kadazan and Dusun cultures. Hence, the Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) was formed and registered – a society to preserve the identity and dignity of the Kadazan community. The emergence of the United Sabah Dusun Association (USDA) in 1978 has caused a slight ethnical disparity between the Kadazans and Dusuns. In order to amend the rift taking place, the President of KCA at the time took the unenviable task of reuniting the Kadazans and Dusuns under one roof by amending the constitution of KCA to Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association or KDCA to include the Dusun community under its banner, hoping that the two ethnic groups of Kadazan and Dusun could be united under the umbrella of KDCA and, at the same time, by calling them as Kadazandusun. Culturally, the objective might have or has been achieved, but failed to unite ethnically under the conjoined name known as "Kadazandusun". This term “Kadazandusun” is a misnomer because there is no such race as "Kadazandusun". Such term has left out the other ethnic groups, i.e. the Muruts, Rungus, etc., and, to my understanding, has therefore led the Authorities to classify us (the indigenous group of Sabah) as under "lain-lain”. The designation of KadazanDusun Cultural Association (KDCA) took effect from September 25, 1991 (source: Richard Tunggolou) and is now officially recognised as the result of political machinations, specifically as a resolution of the supposedly non-political 5th Kadazan Cultural Association (KCA) Delegates Conference held between November 4 and November 5, 1989. During the conference, it was thought – and hence decided - that this was the best alternative approach to resolve the "Kadazan" or "Dusun" identity crisis that had crippled and impeded the growth and development of the Kadazan-Dusun multi-ethnic community socio-culturally, economically and politically—ever since Kadazanism versus Dusunism sentiments were politicised in the early 1960's. The proposal made by the late Tun Fuad Stephens (Donald Stephens) during the Kadazan National Congress held at the Jesselton Community Centre on 7.8.1961 in his attempt to unite the various ethnic groups under one race called ‘Kadazan’, was adopted though not unanimous. Despite this set back, Donald Stephens however made a declaration at the said Congress when he announced to the delegates, “From now on we shall be known as ‘Kadazans’. This historic moment brought about a high degree of unity amongst the various ethnic groups under one race as ‘Kadazan’ both culturally as well as politically. The declaration made by Donald Stephens should have been vigorously pursued by his successor as the Huguan Siou, the paramount leader of the KadazanDusun, in the person of Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan since there was still a minority of the ethnic group who did not wish to come under the banner of “Kadazan” then. But, alas, he failed despite his earnest attempt to do so through the Kadazan Cultural Association or KCA channel. His effort through KCA had however achieved a certain degree of success when all the ethnical groups rallied behind him under the umbrella of KCA both culturally and politically. This was evident during the PBS rule. The term “Kadazandusun” vs “KadazanDusun. The term “KadazanDusun” was purposely manipulated by certain irresponsible people by coining the word “Kadazandusun” to mean it as a race. I have fiercely defended, and will continue to correct this misnomer, that there is no such race as “Kadazandusun”. Datuk Clarence Bongkos Malakun (KSS Trustee Chairman) has also correctly pointed out when he said: “The term ‘Kadazandusun’ is not an indigenous ethnic race per se in Sabah. We should either be Kadazan or Dusun depending on one’s own preference. We should respect those who wish to be known as Dusun just as we expect others to respect our preference to be known as Kadazan.” KSS President Datuk Marcel Leiking has also rightly said at the KSS Christmas and New Year Dinner function in Kota Kinabalu on 23rd December 2008 that: “There are Kadazans in Sabah and there are Dusuns. If you are comfortable with Kadazan or Dusun, so be it, but not Kadazandusun which is not an ethnic indigenous term (recognised) in Sabah.” Wikipedia – the free Encyclopedia – explains the difference. The term “Kadazandusuns” and “KadazanDusuns” are two different terms as differentiated by the usage of the small vowel ‘d’ in the former and the capital ‘D’ in the latter. The term “KadazanDusuns” are two indigenous tribes of Kadazan” and “Dusun” merged together, while the term “Kadazandusun” is a coined word - a term expediently assigned to unify the two indigenous tribes for whatever reasons – that does not denote a race. According to Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Herman J. Luping, “the term KadazanDusun however is not yet accepted as the official name for the same speech community in Sabah.” According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, “the term ‘Kadazan-Dusun’ (also written as KadazanDusun) is the term assigned to the unification of the classification of two indigenous tribes in Sabah, Malaysia—the ethnic groups of Kadazan and Dusun.” The Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS), however, maintains its stance that the term “Kadazandusun” is NOT an ethnic indigenous tribe to describe a race nor it is a native found in Sabah.

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