Kadazan Society summons Mufti


(Daily Express) – The Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) is seeking a sogit (customary penalty) from State Mufti Bungsu @ Aziz Jafaar for insulting and humiliating the Kadazan community by claiming the Kadazans are an “invented race.”

Led by its Deputy President Sylvester Disimon, the KSS filed the saman malu (customary summons for insulting) at Penampang District Chief OKK Christopher Mojungkim’s office, here, Monday.

Disimon said Bungsu’s remark has caused anger among the Kadazan community.

“Their (Kadazan) feelings and dignity will be hurt beyond repair if the matter is not settled through the native court,” he said.

In this respect, he said the Mufti must make an appeasement to the Kadazan community in accordance with native customary law.

He said the term ‘Kadazan’ has existed since time immemorial and it was never invented and is not of recent origin as claimed by Bungsu.

There is evidence, he said, to show that the term has been used long before the 1950s.

Owen Rutter in his book, “‘The Pagans Of North Borneo”, which was published in 1929, wrote “The Dusun usually describes himself generically as a ‘tulun tindal’ (landsman) or, on the west coast, particularly at Papar, as a Kadazan.”

Rutter worked in Sabah or North Borneo for five years as District Officer in all five residencies and left North Borneo with the onset of the First World War.

This means that he started working in North Borneo from 1910 and left in 1914, said Disimon.

“So, if this misconception is left unchecked and not rectified, other communities might think that Bungsu’s statement is correct.

“It might eventually become the truth, if left uncorrected, and thus our future generations might be forever misled by what the Mufti has said about the Kadazan community,” he said.

To this, he said the KSS is taking the lead to summon the Mufti and that every Kadazan has the right to do likewise.

Disimon also said the KSS is taking such action as it is enshrined in its constitution to defend the rights and dignity of the Kadazans.

Moreover, he said, Bungsu must pay for his misdemeanour in calling the Kadazans an “invented race” through the process of Native Customary Law.

Bungsu had, on Sept 28, said the Kadazan was an invented ethnic group made of non-Muslim Dusun people, who are mostly Catholics.

He, however, has yet to make an apology or reply to the anger levelled against him from the various parties such as Upko, PBS, PBRS, NGOs as well as individuals.

Bungsu, who is of Brunei-Suluk ancestry, has not answered calls for him to explain his sensitive remarks against the Kadazan.

Meanwhile, Mojungkim said Bungsu is obliged to appear at the Penampang Native Court within 21 days.

“If he fails to appear in the native court, we will work with the police to issue a warrant (of arrest) for him,” he said.

Also present was KSS Vice-President, Freddy Ekol.