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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Christopher insists he is still P'pang District Chief

Kota Kinabalu: DE. Wednesday, August 12, 2009. The "appointment" of Sylvester Disimon as the new Penampang District Chief on Monday was met with strong protest by OKK Christopher Mojungkim who insisted he is still the rightful District Chief.

According to him, there was no letter from the authority concerned to inform him of the replacement.

"I have not received any official letter yet about this matter and I decline to believe what was printed in the newspaper," he said Tuesday.

He said he was really shocked when he read the article in a local newspaper (not Daily Express).

"And if there was intention to replace me, the authority, Native Affairs Council, should have at least informed me. This despite the District Chief position being only a political appointment," he said.

On the contention of the said article that he would be retiring end of August, he said the Native Affairs Constitution did not provide any provision for age limit.

Previously, the district chiefs had opted for fixed allowances instead of monthly salary.

Because of this, he said the District Chief could carry out his duty as long as he feels he is still capable of contributing.

Christopher, who is 66, said he was previously a village chief for 21 years and native chief for eight years while district chief, one year and five months.

"I am still strong and I love to serve the people in protecting the customs of the people here through the Native Court. "I think I can contribute my knowledge and experience for another 15 years," he said.

He said Sylvester, who is his second cousin of the Wong Sim Ting clan, never met him to discuss about the replacement.

Nevertheless, Christopher said he would be calling for a meeting with village chiefs and native chiefs to discuss the matter so that they could plan the next course of action.

Sylvester, who is former General Manager of Sabah Housing and Town Development Authority (SHTDA), submitted his letter of acceptance to Penampang District Officer, William Sampil, in the presence of Kampung Hubah Village Chief, Bernard B. Jominol, Native Chief, Marcus Johnioh, and Vice President of Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS), Freddy Ekol.

His uncle, Datuk Jintol Mogunting, was Penampang District Chief from 1976 until 2002.

He is expected to assume his office as Penampang District Chief next month.

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