April 26, 2010

Justice Done! – Bank Loses Case in NT land abuse by Non-Native #SSSM

International Bank Malaysia Bhd loses its bid to retain its right as chargee of a Native Title (NT) land which was fraudulently transferred to a Non-Native.

The bank is poorer by RM100,000/-, a drop in the bucket for them and hey, they could just write it off as losses and get a tax discount. But more importantly, this landmark case send a clear warnings to bank institutions in Sabah. I bet managements of Banks now are telling their legal and loan departments to review their guidelines and policies. They might even be looking into their existing loans involving NT lands.
And I bet and I hope, Non-Natives who are in possession of NT Lands via fraud are having sleepless nights right now. 

Owning a land is perfectly fine, it is your god given right but owning them via fraud, now that is where it is not okay.

April 18, 2010

Sabahans Demand & Deserve a Direct Reply on IMM13 #SSSM

DAP Kota Kinabalu, Dr Hiew King Cheu, had asked the government on 13 April 2010 in the Dewan Rakyat for the reason the MyKad is being given to the 96,000 refugees from the neighbouring countries(A) who are staying in Sabah and holding IMM13 certificates.

In reply, this is verbatim from the Daily Express dated 17 April 2010:
The Immigration Department has issued IMM13 documents to refugees from the Philippines in Sabah, allowing them to stay in the country based on humanitarian grounds.
The Home Affairs Minister said the IMM13(B) is a special permanent pass issued to allow the foreign refugees to enter and stay in Malaysia on a yearly period.
Responding to a question by DAP Kota Kinabalu MP, Dr Hiew King Cheu, the Ministry said the Government would issue the MyKad(C) to eligible applicants who are qualified under the National Registration Act 1959 (Article 78) and the Constitution.
I tried to get the Hansard from parliament to see and verify the actual question by Dr Hiew and actual reply from Datuk Hisamuddin Tun Hussein. However, they were not in the Hansard. Hence, I have to rely on The Daily Express’ report.

April 12, 2010

Street Urchins on the streets of Kota Kinabalu

The following is a letter written by a reader published in The Daily Express on 11 April 2010 (copied verbatim),
Examples abound in Sabah
I AM a British international musician, not resident in Sabah, but have worked throughout Borneo since 1980, and have helped a generation of teachers achieve their aims. I write to you from Hong Kong where I am about to commence work.
Having read your recent reports concerning the plight of homeless Sabahans both in Semenanjung and Sabah, may I respectfully suggest some focus by your paper on some individual cases within Sabah.
Take the case of Ardy, he is a cardboard box kid trying to scratch a living in KK. Ardy is one of the many casualties of life of parents who split and subsequently abandoned him. He doesn’t really who he is; only that he was “asli” from Kota Belud.
Is he one of those who “hisap gum” (sniff glue)? Almost certainly, since I vaguely remember him for some 10 years ago in Sinsuran with his Kumpulan (group) of little friends. Some days he is very sad, and rather dirty. Other days when people talk to him and show a little care and understanding, his eyes brighten.

April 5, 2010

Why is our state named Sabah? #SSSM

Few weeks ago, I pondered on the meaning of Sabah. I googled it and found out that the word Sabah in African and Arabic means Sunrise and Morning respectively.

I was still not satisfied and twit my question in Twitter, hoping that someone in Twitter knows the answer. Nada!

Today while researching online for an article I was going to blog about, I stumbled on a Wiki entry.
In 1959, Tun Datu Haji Mustapha Bin Datu Harun met Sultan Tunku Laxamana Awang Ishak Ismail Jalil in a place called Kampung Takuli, Beaufort, Sabah. He was to convey a message of freeing the Borneo from British Colonial. Tun Mustapha asked Sultan Tunku Laxamana Awang Ishak his view regarding the new name of Borneo. The Sultan Tunku Laxamana Awang Ishak told Tun Mustapha to use Sabah as the name of the state. That is his ancestor Awang Alak Betatar mentioned the word Mongoi da sasabah every times he wants to go to the sea. The meaning is let’s go fishing to the sea whereas the island was surrounded by the sea and had a lot fish.
Kampung Takuli by the way, is where my late grandfather decided to settle down. The next time there is a gathering in the kampung, I will make sure to ask the old folks just who the heck was this Sultan Tunku Laxamana. 

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Dusun Tatana - Origin

I am curious to find out more about my heritage. If you have facts that contradict with my version, please, pray tell. I would love to hear from you.

Tatana is one of the Sub-group of the tribe, Dusun. Dusun in Kuala Penyu, Sabah, refer themselves as Dusun Tatana.

(Note: These days Dusun has been ‘bundled’ together with the Kadazans. We are called KadazanDusun now. Politically correct)

According to oral history passed down to my mother (whose memory is not as sharp as it was before, I’m just writing what she told me), the word Tatana means ‘earth people’ or in Malay, ‘orang tanah’.

In the old days, the Dusuns in Kuala Penyu were constantly harassed by a neighbouring tribe called the Bisaya. Quite common those days. Old folks say that a village was considered a country back then, hence, if it was a fight between 2 villages, it was actually considered as a fight between  2 countries. And head hunting was still being practiced back then. Hence, the raids could be a head hunting party.

As a defence, the Dusun in Kuala Penyu started building underground hideouts. When the raiding party came, the Dusuns would hide in these underground hideouts. That is how Dusun Tatana came to be known as Tatana.  

It is also claimed that due to the constant harassment by the Bisaya, some Dusun migrated in land, as far as Tambunan. Not sure whether Tambunan already had its Dusun community then or whether the present day Dusun Tambunan are the progeny of these Dusun Tatana that migrated there.

This is the problem with oral history. It changes each time it’s retold.

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Interference and Political wrangling in the early years of Sabah and Malaysia

I stumbled upon this old book tucked away in a book shelves at my late grandfather’s home. My late uncle’s initial was scribbled on it. $12/- was also handwritten in the same page. The book was all dusty, the cover was not interesting at all (I confess, I usually pick up a book only when I fancy its cover) but I decided to read it.

The book’s title is “The Politics of Federalism – Syed Kechik in East Malaysia”. It is a biography of Syed Kechik by one Bruce Ross-Larson, published in December 1976. Printed in Singapore by Times Printers Sdn Bhd.

I think most Malaysians and even young Sabahans do not know who Syed Kechik is, nor did I. However, he apparently yielded tremendous influence in the politics and policies of the Sabah state government, to a point that there was a stage when West Malaysian leaders became wary of him.

Syed Kechik was a West Malaysia Malay, a lawyer by profession. In late 1965, Kuala Lumpur’s top leadership instructed him to go to Sabah to do what he could for the cause of federalism. What was suppose to be a short stint became an indefinite stay for Syed Kechik. He became heavily intertwined with the politics of Sabah and her politicians. He was not a politician and he was always in the background. Perhaps you could say that he was the one actually running the state.

Syed Kechik was both a shrewd player of the game called Politic and businessman. He became one of the most powerful and richest men in Sabah in his time.

April 1, 2010

Legend of Mt Kinabalu – Mixture of Myth & Truth

The following story was taken from Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association’s website.

One of many KadazanDusun legends compiled by Joanna K-Kissey, Director of State Archives. Please take note that I copied it verbatim.
One of popular legends of Mount Kinabalu is about the dragon who lived at the top of Mount Kinabalu, who was said to have a ‘Butiza’, a lunimous jewel a bezoar stone, which he used as his lamp and plaything.
On moonlight night the people of Ranau and Tamparuli places would look up at Kinabalu and they saw the bright gem being tossed up and caught again and again on the dragon’s forked tongue.
The story about this dragon luminous jewel, spred beyond the seas, even as far as China. The Emperor who heard about it was determined to get possessions of the jewel. He send away of his best warriors to get it but all in vain. Till, he finally decided tosend his two sons, Wong Wang Kong, the elders, and Wong Song Ping, the younger brother. The brothers sent in their own junk equipped with men.
When they finally reached Borneo and came to Kinabalu Mountain, they found out that it was such a difficult task. The elder brother was disappointed with their futile attempt but the younger brother was working on his strategy to take the jewel.

The Dusun(Sabah,Malaysia) and Bunun(Taiwan) connection?

Years ago, I heard talks about how KadazanDusun’s culture and rituals are quite similar to that of a tribe in Taiwan. It suggested a possible common ancestry. I thought nothing more of it but today, perhaps I got too much free time on hand, I revisited that theory. Surfed the net, read articles, read forums.

From herein, I will refer KadazanDusun as Dusun because the former is long and I’m too lazy to type long names. In anycase, KadazanDusun is a recent coinage, a marriage of the tribe name of Kadazan and Dusun by our leaders for unification purposes. I’m not here to discuss kadazanDusun, if you want to know more about the background of the name, I suggest you visit Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association’s website.

The following is an excerpt from http://en.allexperts.com/e/k/ka/kadazan.htm
The Kadazan language is an amalgation of various influences, mainly coming from other indigenous tribes in North Borneo and the adoption of various Malay words. According to legend, the Kadazan language has its roots in the migration of a band of seafaring Chinese from Southern China. Anecdotes describe a provincial Chinese tribe whose language differs greatly with the common Chinese dialects but bears striking similarities to the Kadazan language; a tribe whom purportedly bear a physical resemblance to Kadazans as well. However, no research or concrete evidence has risen to support these claims although it is supported by authoritative figures in the Kadazan community.

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