Return to saving habit, Pairin urges the KDMs


KENINGAU: Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) President-cum-Huguan Siou Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said the saving culture was once a theme of the Kaamatan Festival and should be practised by the Kadazan Dusun and Murut (KDM) communities.

“It is to ensure we reduce wastage and adopt savings that can strengthen our economy,” he said when launching the District KDCA Kaamatan Festival held at Bandukan Riverside Resort, Saturday.

He recalled the ancient KDM practice of storing food in a tube made of bamboo or under a pillow.

He said it was clear that ancestors were so prudent and thrifty when spending and reducing wastage and increasing their savings.

He also urged the people not to waste too much when celebrating the festival this time but strengthen their economy by producing local products.

“This is a very high result and I hope that our people will continue to work with less thought in other contexts but we need to make sure our progress will increase empowerment of our economy.

“I would like to emphasise the result of our participation from our understanding and cooperation and this is what we want and if in the village there is a strong spirit of union with good cooperation and understanding, it will certainly result in our economic strength and financial position,” he said.

Pairin who is also former Deputy Chief Minister and Infrastructure Development Minister said the annual Kaamatan Festival is the pride of the KDM community.

He said the KDM community should be proud of their unique culture as it can be an attraction to both foreign and domestic tourists.

“In Korea, Japan, China and other countries, we can see how they preserve and promote their respective culture as an economic activity.

“It is a draw for tourists to visit the country as tourists will not only be interested in the its background, interesting places, cultures but the food and drinks as well.

“These are examples to show that we should never neglect our culture by disregarding the cultural skills passed down to us. The knowledge that are passed down from our ancestors is should also be passed down to our children and grandchildren,” he said.

He said, the people in the modern era have many tools that can help them to improve, decorate and advance cultural elements whether it is from modern farming, voice art, dance art, music and also oral story-telling.

To this, Pairin urged that more oral story telling on the background of the KDM community including history, art and culture be carried out so that it may not go extinct.

He said that if each family take the responsibility of writing the stories that are told to them from their respective ancestors and then publish it in a book, it will be a marvellous item for reading.

“We often ask stories from our elders who are still alive including from the “Bobolian”, this will also contribute to our reading materials for our grandchildren so as to increase their knowledge and indirectly enhance their knowledge about the historical and cultural background of this community in the future.

“I believe the tourists and foreign investors that come to our place are also attracted to the beauty of our culture,” he said.

Many events were held in conjunction with the festival including Unduk Ngadau, cultural performances, sale of village products and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) exhibitions.

Cora Wybin @Coraa was crowned the Unduk Ngadau Bingkor 2019. She will represent the district at the State-level Kaamatan Festival.

In second and third place, Jayceline Jenner and Claravie Jusop @ Christania Jusop won respectively.

Some 2,000 people including KDCA Deputy President-cum-Keningau MP and Tambunan Assemblyman, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, Kimanis MP, Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, KDCA Vice-President-cum-Bingkor State Assemblyman and Chairman of the Organising Committee, Robert Tawik, political leaders, community leaders and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) attended the event.

(Source from Daily Express, Tuesday, April 30, 2019)