PENAMPANG: Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah’s (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Ranau’s controversial act in allegedly declaring Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as Huguan Siou Malaysia was no more than a political gimmick that was in bad taste.
He said it was a clear deviation from the norm and tradition of the KadazanDusun Murut (KDM) and would further damage the image and credibility of the opposition among Sabahans.
“The word “Huguan Siou” itself means paramount leader for the whole ethnic. I don’t think such a title fits for him (Anwar). Huguan Siou is not just a symbol but an actual care taker of the culture and tradition of that ethnic, and equally important to unite the people.
“So, how can he do this when he is not even from that ethnic, I think it is really out of place. Everyone knows that it was just for political gimmick and I believe it will, if not already, backfire at him,” he said.
Deputy Chief Minister cum Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan, who is the Huguan Siou for KDM, declined to comment when ask about the issue, saying as the person concerned it would be better if he let his people speak their feeling about the matter themselves.
Another KDCA leader has called for opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to apologise to the KDM community for reportedly accepting the ‘Huguan Siou’ title from PKR Ranau last week.
KDCA supreme council member, Jeoffrey Ekol, said, APS President Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing and PKR Ranau chief, Jonathan Yassin, should also apologise to their fellow KDMs for the ‘faux pas’.
He added that those who presented Anwar with the sash and title should be given strong warning and made to pay a fine as ‘sogit’ for going against the KDM tradition and committing a shameful act.
Ekol felt that both Bumburing and Yassin are in denial of the truth based on their response to the issue, where they said the former village chief may not have been aware for what had transpired.
“And they said that based on their opinion the village chief could have been overly excited with Anwar’s visit. That cannot be true because PKR Ranau may have made arrangement with the ex-village head to bestow the title to Anwar.
“Now they are saying that the ex-village chief just came and put the siga and sash on Anwar? What a lie! They are trying to cover up their wrong doing/weakness after some KDM community made their objection known.
“Given Bumburing’s involvement in KDCA, he could have advised the organizer knowing that it could hurt the KDM community’s feelings,” Ekol stressed.
Ekol therefore felt that Bumburing and Yassin should apologise without delay to their fellow KDMs and have the title withdrawn from Anwar.
Further, according to him, PKR Ranau should know that conferring the Huguan Siou title is only done with the agreement by all KDM groups throughout Sabah and that it involves traditional rituals spearheaded by KDCA.
“We, the KDM have lost our dignity and pride by the irresponsible act of PKR Ranau. This shameful act should not be allowed to happen again otherwise any individual will just simply bestow the title as they like and if that happens, the KDM community will lose their dignity and pride.
“Worst still, the Huguan Siou title will be meaningless,” he said.
Ekol added that Anwar should not have accepted the sash if he respected and cared about the KDM’s sensitivity and feelings.
Anwar should voluntarily apologise to KDM and reject the title openly for he is not fit/qualified for it at all, Ekol said.
Meanwhile, former Pensiangan MP Datuk Dr Bernard S Maraat said Anwar should apologize for accepting the Huguan Siou Malaysia title from PKR Ranau recently.
He said Anwar should do so as it had hurt the feelings of Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) in the state.
“Huguan Siou is sacred and only for an individual from the KDM community who is regarded as having the quality of a true leader who can bring unity, peace, happiness and progress to the community,” said Maraat who is Sabah Borneo Murut Organisation (Borneo) president.
“What Anwar should have done is to find out whether such award is proper. I thought he (Anwar) is smart enough but I guess he is not after all,” he said. (BP)