Mufti must pay for calling Kadazans ‘invented race’, says Sabah MP

(MMO) – Sabah Mufti Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar should be tried in the state’s Native Court and be made to pay for calling Kadazans an “invented race”, Penampang MP Darell Leiking has demanded for the perceived slur.

The senior Islamic cleric must also apologise to Sabahans for pushing a personal agenda to make Malay the state’s Bumiputera Muslims, the opposition lawmaker told The Malay Mail Online.

“The state mufti should apologise now especially since the chief minister and government made it clear that this is the state mufti’s personal view.

“He has insulted the Kadazans when he mentioned that the Kadazan is an invented term, he said it very happily and looked so convinced by it,” Leiking said when contacted over the phone yesterday.

He noted that Bungsu’s “Malaynisation” plan had failed to gain traction with state leaders, including Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman (picture).

Yesterday, Musa confirmed the Sabah government has no plans to convert ethnic groups there into Malays, calming fears over the alleged “Malaynisation” ploy suggested recently by the state’s mufti.

Instead, Musa said the controversial proposal was merely a “personal view” of the mufti and stressed that the state would always continue to respect the diversity of the many native groups in Sabah.

Leiking said that he is glad the chief minister had implied that he agreed with their campaign, which celebrates the different ethnicities of Sabahans. “I’m glad the chief minister supports our campaign, supports the stance that all Sabahans of all ages that our ethnicity is our pride and no religion should determine the ethnicity of the person and likewise no ethnicity should determine the religion of the person,” he told The Malay Mail Online.

Hundreds of Sabahans had flooded Leiking’s Facebook account with photographs of themselves proudly proclaiming their respective ethnicity in response to the PKR deputy seretary-general’s call to protest the mufti’s proposal to convert the north Borneo state’s natives into Malays — a move they saw as akin to stripping their very identities.

“For him to say that we are an invented race, I say to this man, even the chief minister has abandoned him, so he better apologise now.

“He has no other way but to apologise to the people especially to the Kadazans and all ethnic groups in Sabah, for imposing even a personal view on us, by simply associating ethnicity and religion as one, nobody should ever mix the two together,” Leiking said.

A Kadazan himself, Leiking said Bungsu should be marched to the state’s Native Court and face justice there.

The Federal Constitution provides for disputes among the Sabah’s indigenous peoples to be settled by tribal laws, which are decided by a native chief or district chief appointed by the government to assume the role of the judge in the Native Court.

Among the penalties meted out is “sogit”, or compensation, to the injured party.

“We have a punitive sentence called ‘sogit’. It is a punishment of a sort with a very tribal belief that if someone insulted you or community or done wrong to the kampung, he must pay a sogit and it comes in many form, in this case, it will probably a buffalo,” Leiking said. 

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