The controversy surrounding Dewan Huguan Siou
Published on: Sunday, August 11, 2019
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WE act for the Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) of Lot No. 2, 1st Floor, Block F, Sedco Shophouse, Donggongon, Penampang, Sabah in respect of the above-mentioned matter.

We are informed by our client that in an article bearing the headline “Dewan Huguan Siou Land Title Goes Missing” mentioned above, written by your reporter Oliver Voon, much of the information contained in the said article are inaccurate, biased, misleading, and containing innuendos suggestive of guilt committed by our client.

These statements are, particularly:-

1. “Daily Express reliably learnt that the original land title for the 0.6 hectare site that hosts a structure in the form of a siga (Kadazan headgear) has gone missing”. 

It is not correct that the measurement of the land is 0.6 hectare as it is only 0.60 acre as stated on its title; 

The source of your said reporter’s information about the land title having gone missing was not clearly stated nor was it disclosed so as to show how reliable is that source of the information. 

Our client was given to understand that the District Council of Penampang was merely concerned with maintenance and repairs of the structure built on the Said Land, and is not aware that the title to the said land was in the Council’s possession for it to declare the loss of the title. 

2. “It is understood that responsibility for the structure had passed to the District Council in 1992 when the original Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) to whom it was bequeathed by the Landowner was later dissolved”. 

 The landowner had bequeathed the 0.60 acre land to The Society of Kadazans, Penampang and Country Lease No.134857 issued on 18th September 1956, was registered in the name of “The Society of Kadazans, Penampang” and NOT to the Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) which obviously did not exist at the material time. Please note the difference in the name of the entities. 

3. “A controversy arose when the revived KSS made a secret application early this year to the Council inquiring about the outcome of its request to take ownership of the structure”. 

Who is/ are the person/ people alleging that such application is secret? 

Generally in any land application there is no obligation on the part of the applicant to make public the application. It is but only an application and there are yet formalities under the law to comply with before any decision is made by the relevant authorities to grant the approval or otherwise. 

The manner of reporting and publishing such statements containing innuendoes suggestive of guilt committed by our client will certainly play on the minds of the general public and in the process will result in bringing down our client’s good repute and standing in society. 

In the circumstances above, we request that your esteemed newspaper publishes the necessary corrections pointed out above. 

Your cooperation shall be much appreciated. 

Nicholas Fung Tokuzip & Co

* The Daily Express does not publish anything unless all sides in an issue are accommodated as much as and as far as humanely possible.

In this respect, we made every attempt to get the response from KKS but it was not entertained.

As per the information that the land title may have gone missing, we would not have said so based on hearsay but by talking to people who are in the know. 

You ask for the source of the info, but the fact that this has not been denied should lead you to suspect that there may be some truth in it. 

Or may have been the case when it was conveyed to us at that time at least.

As per the “secret application” those were not our words but of the group of people who felt strongly about the matter and staged a protest.

For them to conclude that there was a “secret application” suggests the matter, being of public interest, may not have been put on the notice board for the community’s knowledge and comments. To our understanding that should be the right procedure on the part of the council and not as you suggest that “there is no obligation for the public to know.”

Finally, it is strange that the KSS having many able officials need to respond to the matter through a legal firm when it could have easily responded to our reporter’s query when the matter first surfaced following the group’s protest – Ed 


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