Dusuns will never accept being called Kadazan: Sundang
Published on: Saturday, June 27, 2020
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KENINGAU, Fri. – Former politician Datuk G.S Sundang today urged the Kadazan Cultural Association to drop the Kadazanisation of the various ethnic groups in Sabah.

“They (the people) are happy as they are, so why must there be an unnecessary tension over a petty issue,” he said.

Datuk Sundang, who is chief adviser to the United Sabah Dusun Association (Usda) also expressed fears that the ruling Parti Bersatu Sabah might just fall apart if they persist in following up the proposal of using the term Kadazan to encompass the ethnic groups in Sabah, particularly the Dusuns.

The PBS, he said, should respect the wishes of the Dusun people who form the majority in the party, by deciding instead to live side by side as before.

The dissatisfaction in the community in Sabah in objecting to the move would undoubtedly incite confusion and animosity between the Kadazans and Dusuns, he added.

Riding a buffalo as means of transport in 1910.

He said this might lead to a rift which might widen and open opportunities to other parties to topple them. 

Speaking at his residence here, he expressed support for a recent comment by Usda deputy president Kalakau Untol who openly objected to the use of the term Kadazan to embrace the Dusuns. 

Encik Kalakau early this week also pointed out that a resolution on this made during the 1961 United National Kadazan Organisation (Unko) Congress was a political decision made in a political forum and that several prominent leaders including Datuk Sundang, had voiced their objections. 

“Even under current situation, the people of Tambunan do not like being called Kadazans,” Datuk Sundang said. 

Encik Kalakau’s statement received favourable support from Usda’s appointed Deputy President Justin Sedomon (Keningau), Vice Presidents Yapin Gimpoton (Kebayau) and Tutik Garuda (Lahad Datu) and supreme council member Haji Razali Goroh (Kota Belud). 

Datuk Sundang, 80, said the people were tired of too much politicking and expressed the hope that the current Kadazan-Dusun issue could be resolved amicably and not used for political purposes. 

Prior to his retirement in 1969, Datuk Sundang served as Deputy Chief Minister to Datuk Peter Lo Su Yin from 1965 to 1967 for a “caretaker government” following the rift between Usno president Tun Mustapha Datu Harun, then head of state, and Tun Fuad Stephens, the Upko president and former Chief Minister. 

He was also Minister of Medical Services and Health in 1963 and Minister of Local Government, the following year. 

Datuk Sundang left public office after his party Upko was defeated in the 1967 state election. 

He also felt that although there had been progress in discussions between the Kadazan Cultural Association and Usda, both sides could face problems over the name of the “central” native language.

“The Dusuns will not accept the term Kadazan as a language identification,” he said.

According to Datuk Sundang, Lewan had always been the central language of the Dusuns in the various districts of Sabah, including Penampang and Papar.

He said that Lewan is presently used by 80 per cent of the Dusunic peoples while only 20 per cent understand the Kadazan language popularity used in Penampang and Papar.

Datuk Sundang urged leaders of both sides not to bring the language issue too much into public focus but to instead strive for an amicable solution. 

He also stressed that he never recognised the 1961 Unko congress which had adopted the resolution. 

“I was never invited to the congress and even if I were, I would never agree to be called a Kadazan,” he said. 

Based on such pressure following the resolution, Datuk Sundang set up his own Dusun-based party in 1962 called United Pasok-Momogun to counter Upko then led by Tun Fuad Stephens who formed his in 1961. 

Both leaders decided to merge their parties for greater unity under United Pasok-Momogun Kadazan Organisation (Upko) in 1963 after it was agreed that there would be no more pressure to impose the term Kadazan upon the Dusuns. 

“Furthermore, Pasok-Momogun had the majority support of the Dusunic family then, thus posing a threat to Unko,” Datuk Sundang said. 

He was however surprised that such an issue had resurrected after all these years.


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