Protest over ‘KSS bid’
Published on: Sunday, July 21, 2019
By: Oswald Supi

PENAMPANG: Some 100 hundred residents of Kg Tuavon here staged a protest in front of the Dewan Huguan Siou, Saturday, claiming they got wind of a “secret application” by Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) to take control of the premises.

The ownership currently is vested with the District Council. As the name suggests it is where the community’s two paramount chiefs – Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan and Tun Mohd Fuad Stephens – were bestowed with the title. 

The Dewan is shaped in the form of the Siga headgear and sits on a 0.6 hectare site.

A resident, Adrian Siponong, said he had proof of a letter from KSS inquiring from the Council the status of the application made without their knowledge, the village chief or chairman of MPKK. 

According to him, the application was reportedly made earlier this year. They said the Dewan had been vested with the Council since 1992 and, hence, should not be applied by anyone. 

He also expressed concerned of what may happen when an “outsider” starts claiming ownership of a property in the middle of their village, considering that they don’t even recognise the KSS at all.

KSS is now headed by Datuk Marcel Leiking. 

Pairin is currently the Huguan Siou, a title that ended with the death of Stephens in the Nomad air crash on June 6, 1976 and was resurrected in the early 1980s.

A former observer of the District Council, Francis Mojikon, demanded to know from the Council if it was true that land in the village was in the process of being handed over to a NGO that contributed nothing towards the building.

He claimed the proposal to upgrade the building was already approved by the Ministry but was not carried out.

Instead it was being handed over to an association that was not relevant to the village. 

He said if the land had no title, it should be given to the locals and asked why the council is not serving the community but a private entity.

One version making the rounds is that the land was bequeathed to the original KSS and became the property of the Council when the original KSS was dissolved.

A police patrol car was present at the gate of the Dewan but left before the group started their press conference. 


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