Confer highest award to Polish who wrote State anthem, says UBF
Published on: Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Kota Kinabalu: United Borneo Front (UBF) wants the State Government to confer H.B. Hermann, a Polish violinist who wrote the State anthem "Sabah Tanah Air Ku", with the highest award."H.B Hermann should be conferred and honoured with the State's highest award if not already done so. We call upon the public to contact UBF directly if they have any knowledge on the whereabouts of Hermann or his relatives," said Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who leads the UBF.

Jeffrey said it was Hermann who was at that time also a Singapore citizen who wrote the State anthem.

Hermann won an International Open Competition held in 1963 to compose the said anthem and founding fathers Donald (later Fuad) Stephens and Datu Mustapha chose the winner together.

"Our struggle for political unity in Borneo through the UBF must find the root of its agenda in the Sabah Tanah Air KuÉso we did some research and traced the history," he said.

He said this during a 'Borneo Tea Party' event hosted by a UBF supporter Lily Quadra at a private residence in Bingkor, Keningau, on New Year's Day, which was attended by its leaders and supporters.

Jeffrey who recently resigned from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) to focus on UBF, spoke of the struggle of UBF and the Borneo Agenda, reminding those present that the Sabah anthem correctly captures the "heart and soul" of UBF's entire agenda.

"We must not forget the importance of the words in 'Sabah Tanah Air Ku" which we respectfully sing at major events and government functions.

"In our state anthem, we are reminded of our sacrifices, our struggle, our eternal freedom, our unity, our love and, most of all, our State independence," he said.

By singing this openly since childhood it is almost like a part of the DNA of the Sabah people, he said, adding this is the crux of what they are fighting for in UBF.

"It is essential to keep up the good fight until such time as we are said to be in absolute control of the funds that come out of our State's natural resources and be in a position to determine the laws and regulations that can either secure or restrain our freedoms.

"The main freedoms we speak were bonded and solemnly sworn in blood through the 'Batu Sumpah' in Keningau," he said, in a statement.

Jeffrey said if all Sabahans were to adhere to the words of the Sabah anthem which he says "bears remarkable foresight of what we must do to succeed", then there should be no basis for any of the problems faced in Sabah like the illegal immigrants and the threat to territorial integrity and status as the poorest state in Malaysia.

"We will be united and struggling for the same cause irrespective of our race and our religion, showing greater respect for the struggles and achievements of our own forefathers and finding solutions to the problems together instead of relying on others to solve it for us," he said.


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