No ulterior motive in Kadazan Negara Ku
Published on: Sunday, December 15, 2019
By: Ricardo Unto
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KOTA KINABALU: While the rendition of the national anthem in Mandarin created a stir recently with police reports lodged against a Chinese-type national school (SJKC) in Seremban, a similar event in Sabah went unnoticed until it made the rounds in social media lately (pic).

However, private Kadazan language tutor Adina Bongkos said there was no ulterior motive behind translating the Negara Ku into Kadazan. The rendition was posted on YouTube.

Both the Kadazan and peninsula incidents occurred last year. “The video was posted on last Sept 16,” she said when contacted, Saturday. 

“I conducted a Kadazan language class and coincidentally the last day of the 12-week course fell on Sept. 16. Since it was a Kadazan language class, it is a shame for us if we cannot sing the national anthem in Kadazan as an expression of our patriotism,” she said, Saturday.

Adina who took a few days to translate Negaraku said “it was very tough as it was never translated before.” In fact, she also translated the State anthem “Sabah Tanahairku” and the “Rukunegara” into Kadazan.

“I had to make sure to use the correct word so that it would not stray from the original Malay wording…I want to keep the spirit of the anthem intact. It was intended as our contribution to the spirit of Malaysia Day (on Sept. 16).

“Never did it cross my mind to be a rebel or to challenge the Malay language or even the Constitution.” The video mentioned they are Kadazan language students at ITCC, Penampang, near here, singing the “Negaraku” (Pomogunan Ku) under the tutelage of Adina.

It also stated that it was the first time the national anthem was sung in Kadazan. “Out of patriotism, I made it for the King and Queen and the country…how can it be deemed as offensive?”

She added, she was not bothered with the negative comments posted over the video. “Some people cannot see the positive side of things,” she said.

“If people have a rational mind, why not every ethnic group in the State take the initiative to translate the anthem into their own mother tongues?

“Sometimes we take things for granted. We already know how to sing the anthem in Malay but how about our own native languages?”

Education Director-General Datuk Dr Amin Senin was since reported as saying that investigations into the Negeri Sembilan case last September found it was done to help pupils better understand the meaning, purpose, and protocol when singing the ‘Negaraku’.

He also said it did not take place in any official event of the school. However, he reminded the management of schools to always exercise discretion when using any national symbols, including the national anthem, during teaching and learning session to avoid any misunderstandings.

Amin also stressed that the national anthem should not be altered or amended in any way whenever it is performed at any official school event and everyone must adhere to the National Anthem Act 1968.



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