December 10, 2010

Prove it

I wrote this to the forum of The Daily Express. I don't think they will carry it so I'll put in my blog :D :

I refer to the issue of Sri Tanjung's Assemblyman, DAP Jimmy Wong's Sijil Anak Negeri(SAN) or Native Certificate. I have been following the issue closely since I myself is a 'Sino-Kadazan'.
My personal opinion of the matter, I think Datuk Hajiji's motivation to 'uncover' the truth about Mr Wong's SAN is politically motivated. What else it would be? Don't even bother to pretend because even ordinary citizen like me can see for what it truly is. What better way to discredit Mr Wong's moral authority. The gusto that Datuk Hajiji and associates displayed to uncover the truth is commendable. One can only hope that in the next few months, there will be reports about Datuk Hajiji submitting more findings on more genuine SAN in the hands of unqualified people. It is an open secret that there are many 'towkays' out there who do not have a drop of native blood in them but somehow are in the possession of SAN. These SAN no doubt issued prior to 1982. Why stop here, keep the ball rolling.

December 8, 2010

Bogus Natives with Genuine Native Certificate

Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Herman Luping has written an interesting article in relation to the row between Sabah DAP Sri Tanjung Assemblyman, Jimmy Wong and the state's Local Government and Housing Ministry under Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor over the former's Sijil Anak Negeri (SAN) or Native Certificate. Read report here.

Dr Herman is a veteran Sabahan politician. He was among the few locals who were handpicked, if not earmarked by the British Colonial government in then North Borneo, to be trained and groomed to be Senior Civil Servants(Read about his reminiscent). He was also a former Deputy Chief Minister and State-Attorney General. Hence, in my humble opinion, he is most qualified to comment on the subject compare to the younger generation of Sabahan politicians.

December 7, 2010

Turtle Legends of Sabah

I was surfing the internet looking for stories/legends/history of Sabah and I stumbled upon this site called Sabah Folklore. One particular post in the site caught my attention, Turtle's Legends in Sabah. It tells the story of a turtle that helped an old woman and in return, the turtle got the old woman to tell her people not to eat turtle meat. The story ends with "To this day, many people in Sabah do not eat turtle meat". 

Interesting I thought because my late maternal Grand mother Mary Motto side of the family has a legend of their own with regard to turtle, specifically a specie called 'Labi Labi' in Malay. Labi Labi is a fresh water turtle belonging to the Trionychoidea family. Their story also ends with the turtle making someone promised not to eat turtle meat but their 'rules' were more extreme.

Depends on who I ask, the details of the story varies from one family member to the next but they all 'believe' that the 'curse' on the family is true. 
Once upon a time, in a place within Kuala Penyu or its fringes (my mom has a theory that it was in Klias), there was a wedding. All the kampung folks attended the ceremony. The newly weds' house was across a river (which is why my mom thinks it is in Klias because there is a river called Sungai Klias there and also she said most people who are affected by the 'curse' are in Klias). They had to use a boat to cross the river to reach the newly weds' house. Wading across the river probably would not be a good idea because Klias river is infested with crocodiles and going to a party soaking wet would not have been a good way to start your merry making. 
Unbeknown to the Kampung folks who crossed the river, they have left behind a little girl. So this poor girl was standing there on the opposite side of the riverbanks, probably feeling helpless and wondering why the adults in the boat could not hear her yelling at them. She probably said, "Woi! Cilaka! Kenapa kamurang kasih tinggal aku bah!". Ok, maybe she would not have said "Cilaka".

December 6, 2010

The Peter Tananak Clan

I attended the clan gathering of my Dusun side recently on 20 November 2010 at Kampung Kabunau, Kuala Penyu. It is an annual gathering started by the Kimsin branch of our clan. The annual gathering is a way for us to rekindle and strengthen relations among the descendants of my great Grandparents, Peter Tananak & Monica Sanandu. This year, the honor to host the gathering fell to the Emok branch of the family.

I had the pleasure of having interacted with my great grandpa. He outlived my father in fact. My dad passed away on 19 December 1977 at the age of 39 and my great grandpa passed away on 22 November 1981 at the age of 103.

Most of the interaction I had with my great grandpa occurred at my late grandpa James Sunam's home at Kampung Takuli, Beaufort. I think I was no more than 10 years old then. Those days there was no electricity at my grandpa James Sunam's home. At dusk, my grandpa James Sunam would 'crank up' the Hurricane Lamp and there was no TV at night. So you could have guessed by now that I was not very big on staying overnight at my granpa's home.

On hindsight, I think I know why my maternal auntie Margaret Sunam tricked me and my younger sister into tagging along with her to my grandpa's home on one particular day. She enticed us to follow her to my grandpa's home and promised that we would not be staying overnight. I think they had wanted us to meet our great grandpa and resorted to trickery to get us going.

I remember that night I was throwing tantrum because I wanted to go home. It was dark, no TV and I was miserable. The adults made excuses as to why they could not send us home that night. I remember my grandpa called me to his side and I complied. Sitting next to him was a familiar old face, I had seen him before. My grandpa told me that the old man was my 'Datuk'. Still sulking, I acknowledged half heartedly. I was young and did not know the significance of the moment. How could I? The concept that my grandpa has a father was not apparent to me. I thought my Datuk was just another old men, a friend to my grandpa.

I remember that my grandpa was very (I mean VERY) respectful to my Datuk, almost to the extend of reverence. That night, my grandpa tried to prod me into having a longer conversation with my Datuk. I remember it did not last very long because soon I lost interest; I did not have any interest to begin with on account that I was upset at being tricked into staying overnight. I might even had been rude to my Datuk but he just brushed aside my attitude with a sagely smile. There is this vivid scene etched in my head, of him staring at me affectionately. His face was all wrinkly but I remember his eyes were very alive and alert. So there we were, my grandpa trying to make me talk and the surrounding was aglow in yellow hue from the candle light. Datuk spoke to me in Hakka but I cannot remember what he said to me. Anyhow, my Hakka was not really good anyway.

The next time I would see Datuk again, was at his home at Kiambor. By that time, he was bed ridden and frail. When he passed away, I was not brought along to his funeral.

I always thought that my siblings and I are second generation Chinese on the Chinese side of the family. Am I confusing you? Sorry, I have trouble putting my train of thoughts in proper order. Let me explain, my father was a Chinese Hakka, he was borned in Sandakan. His parents came from China. Hence, my father and his siblings would be the first generation Chinese Sabahans. My father married my mother (of course, Captain obvious) whom is a Dusun. So my siblings and I are Sino-Kadazan (The National Registration Department would of course say there is no such thing but I beg to differ, check Article 161A (6)(B) of the Malaysian Constitution which says that a person who either has one parent or grandparent whom are a native of Sabah, shall be considered as a native him/herself).

Apparently, my mother was not her family's first trailblazers in marrying someone of different race! My Datuk himself was either a Sino-Kadazan or full fledged Chinese! Why I cannot for certain say what his actual race is because we do not have the details of his mother. None at all! But we know who his father was.

Thanks to gatherings like our annual clan gathering, the older generations of our family could share their knowledge of our clan history. This is what I gleaned so far:

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