The KDMR need Huguan Sious, not just one Huguan Siou
Published on: Sunday, May 09, 2021
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Credit: kumongis.wordpress.com
YOUR reports on “Proxy Battle For Huguan-Siouship?” and “Jeffrey Says Not Interested In The Huguan Siou Post” (DE on May 5 and 6 refers).

As a political observer, I also got the impression that the sudden demand by PBS to single out its past bastions of Tambunan and Keningau had some underlying motive.

Just like the question your headline posed and the fact that the holder Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan had given up all other political positions, except the Huguan Siou.

It is quite clear that all the Kadazan Dusun dominated parties are trying to outdo each other for the community’s support since Warisan failed to appeal to the natives, except in Penampang and Papar.

To me, I would say let the best party win. What I am more interested in knowing is whether the Huguan Siou title served any real purpose to our community, meaning the non-Muslim natives, in particular. In short what can we proudly say that something that the community has achieved is due to this title. Or has it brought more harm than good, politically.

The community would have to assess deeply if it is willing to surrender their aspirations to just one leader. To me both the Huguan Sious have failed us.

Tun Fuad Stephens started well but started capitulating to Usno soon after he lost his political power. What we regret most today is his action of waiting till Upko Deputy President Datuk GS Sundang was away in England for medical treatment in 1967 and unable to rush back to stop the dissolution of the party. 

 Based on the archive reports of your paper, the Upko extraordinary meeting that was held was not about whether Upko should dissolve but that Upko had to be dissolved. As a Huguan Siou it was unthinkable that he should do it. The reasons were only known to himself. 

The meeting lasted late into the night with the members pleading with him to quit the party and not dissolve it as they would have no “house” anymore so to speak.

But his reported response was that he decided that their needs would be better served by Usno and Tun Mustapha. That, to me, marked the beginning of the end of our struggle.

Stephens also openly asked for a review of the Malaysia Agreement (MA63) upon Singapore’s exit which perhaps made Kuala Lumpur adopt a cautious stand in its dealings with the community. Until he was needed to check the ambitions of Mustapha when State-Federal relations turned sour during Pm Tun Razak.

When Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan was made the second Huguan Siou, the spirits of the community were again lifted. One can sympathise with Pairin as he had to deal with a difficult federal leadership headed by Tun Dr Mahathir. Perhaps influenced by his “kitchen cabinet” he also did the unthinkable by pulling out of the then ruling Barisan Nasional coalition two weeks before the general election.

Like Stephens demanding a review of the MA63 upon Singapore’s pullout, Federal again faced a situation where it could not work with a state government which happened to be led by the second Huguan Siou. Federal was again faced with the same situation as during Stephens.

Hence, both the Huguan Sious had run-ins with the Federal Government. It never faced such situation with Sarawak’s leaders who did a superb job, except at the start with Stephen Kalong Ningkan. 

Many say that had Pairin kept his emotions in check and didn’t give in to pressure from his hardliners in PBS to pull out in what Mahathir bitterly labelled a “stab in the back”, not only would PBS have continued to rule the State till today but Semanunjung parties, mainly Umno, would not have had an excuse to spread to Sabah. 

 Not only that, the 1990 “stab in the back” strangely coincided with the sudden surge in illegal immigrants coming into possession of Malaysian documents, now said to number one million. This was stated in the Royal Commission of Inquiry report which alluded to a certain “Projek IC”.

I understand that Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan strongly advised his elder brother at that time never to pull out of the BN no matter what as the consequences would be severe for the community and the party, but that the elder Kitingan preferred, instead, to heed the advice of his “kitchen cabinet” and whose members deserted him anyway and joined or hopped to BN when the time came. 

Rumour is that federal, erroneously thinking that the younger brother was behind the pullout decision, hounded him resulting in tax investigations and detaining him under the Internal Security Act (ISA). Only the younger Kitingan can testify if this is true or hearsay and your paper should get it from the horse’s mouth to put the record straight.

It is in the light of all this, that the community needs to study and decide whether the Huguan Siou title had been beneficial or a curse since it provides anyone who holds the position the authority to use it as a blank cheque to make whatever decision he thinks fit for the community and later regretting it.

Is it not better for the community’s interests be pursued by every Kadazan Dusun leader worth his salt. Whether it be Dr Jeffrey, Dr Max Ongkili, Datuk Darrel Leiking, Datuk Madius Tangau, Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, Datuk Joachim or Datuk Abidin Madingkir. 

Let’s regard all of them as Huguan Sious in their own right and do what is necessary to uplift the community and safeguard its interests through their respective parties. 

This way the community would benefit far more than banking on a single person only to swim or sink with him.

 By coincidence on the day that your paper carried the report on the PBS indirectly laying claim to the two seats of Tambunan and Bingkor held by Star and its possible proxy link to the Huguan Siouship stakes, a stunning Kadazan Dusun Unduk beauty also shared front page space beside that story apologising for answering that the first Huguan Siou was “Mat Salleh” during the Unduk Ngadau pageant. 

Never mind how British colonial history looked at Mat Salleh. But as we all know he was not even a Kadazan Dusun. 

What was even more startling was that she was even reported as saying that she actually had no idea what “Huguan Siou” actually meant.

We should thank her for being honest instead of ridiculing her. She was actually sending a very strong message to our so-called native leaders that the X, Y and Z generation do not give a damn to this Huguan Siou title anymore. 

The writing is on the wall and the community had better take note.


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