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Five villages perform own rituals: Chief After unable to impose 'sogit' on nudists
Published on: Saturday, June 20, 2015
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Kota Kinabalu: Disappointed they could not impose a "sogit" or traditional compensation on the tourists who stripped on Mount Kinabalu, several local villages took it upon themselves to hold traditional rituals to appease the mountain spirits. Ranau District Native Chief Mohd Din Solinggong said at least five villages have performed this ceremony already, each sacrificing chickens and cows in the process.

"They have done their own 'monogit' ceremony, a ceremony to appease the spirits and 'cool down' the heat caused. They organised this on their own," he said at the Ranau District Office.

Some parts of Sabah abide by native laws, which are governed by the Native Court Enactment 1992.

On May 30, a group of 10 tourists stripped atop Mount Kinabalu in a dare to see who could stand the cold the longest, despite being told by their mountain guide not to.

The act had angered and outraged the local community who demanded that they be brought to native courts for "sogit".

Deputy Chief Minister and Huguon Siou (the paramount leader of the Kadazandusun people) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan later blamed a deadly magnitude 5.9 earthquake on the act.

On June 12, four of the 10 tourists were sentenced to three days' jail (which they had already served), RM5,000 fine in civil court of law for public indecency, and were deported home the following day after they pled guilty.

"We were at first happy to hear that they had identified the tourists who had breached the laws and we wanted to bring them to face our court of law. They had after all breached the laws of 'akinabalu' – the mountain's spirit.

"We, however, did not have the authority to remand anybody so we waited but they were sentenced in civil court and then deported immediately. We could not impose any sogit on them," lamented Mohd Din.

He said that communities in Kundasang and Ranau such as Kampung Lohan, Kampung Kiau, and in Kampung Bantayan in Tuaran had conducted their own rituals in the recent weeks.

"The communities there do it small scale on their own accord. They've sacrificed chickens and cows and brought seven eggs to appease the mountain spirits.

"We hope that this 'cooling down' will be enough not just for the spirits, but so the native people will feel calmed down because we could not impose sogit on the foreigners," he said.

On Saturday, Dusun Lotud shaman and spiritual medium Belud Ebin told reporters that her "familiar spirit" told her that the mountain gods were angry with the disrespect shown to the mountain of late.

She said that many acts of misbehaviour have been going on for years and people did not respect the earth or pay enough compensation.

"Whatever we reap, we must pay our dues to the land. It doesn't matter what religion or what beliefs we have, in the end, our ashes and bodies will return to the earth," she said after a "monolibabaw" ceremony to consult with the spirits.

The district of Ranau, the epicentre of the earthquake, has been wracked with aftershocks, totally some 82 since June 5. The latest reported quake was a magnitude 4.0 tremblor at 5.58am.


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