Wednesday, October 27

Associations reject proposed use of ‘Momogun’ in official forms

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KOTA KINABALU: Nine Dusun ethnic associations have unanimously rejected the proposal by the Momogun National Congress (MNC) that Sabahan natives be listed under the generic term ‘Momogun’ in official government forms.

Representatives from the associations passed a resolution to maintain the use of their respective names as they have been doing all this while, during a meeting that was initiated by the United Sabah Dusun Association (USDA) on Wednesday.

USDA president Datuk Dr Ewon Ebin who chaired the meeting told reporters later that the resolution would be handed to the government as soon as possible.

“Today USDA called for an important meeting with several other ethnic KDM associations in Sabah to get their opinions on the term they think should be used to replace the ‘bangsa lain lain’ in official government forms.

“MNC had suggested the use of the term ‘Momogun’ for that and we have asked for the opinions of the leaders of the nine associations here today. We found that the majority agreed that their ethnic name be retained as enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution Article 161 (7) where the interpretation of Anak Negeri included ‘Dusuns’ (in plural).

“There is no such word as ‘Momogun’ in the Constitution,,” he said adding that those who attended the meeting rejected the proposal to use the term ‘Momogun’.

Those who attended the meeting included USDA deputy president Datuk Kalakau Untol, Persatuan Tatana Sabah president Tan Sri Wences Angang, Persatuan Kimaragang Sabah Bersatu president Datuk Baintin Adun, Persatuan Tobilung Bersatu Sabah president Muji Ampau, Persatuan Sino-Kadazan Dusun Murut Sabah secretary general James Lee, Persatuan Tindal Bersatu Sabah president James Bagah, Persatuan Bangsa Tombonuo Sabah president Akian Akiew, Persatuan Kaum Sukang Sabah president Aloi Ahlian, Persatuan Dusun Subpan Segama Lahad Datu president Baginda Rumokoi and Persatuan Suang Lotud Sabah president Datuk Fredy Sua.

Earlier, Ewon issued a statement stressing that USDA was urging the Malaysian government to officially use the term ‘Dusun’ to refer to all the Dusunic speaking community in Sabah in all official forms and to immediately stop using the term ‘lain-lain.’

“I am of the opinion that inserting the various ethnic races in government official forms will not burden the government financially. In fact, this will enhance the capacity of the various government departments to identify the various races in Sabah. At the same time, this will also help to ensure that the various ethnic identities will be retained, maintained and recognised,” he opined.

According to him, the rationale behind this call was that the term ‘Dusun’ was first used by the Dusunic speaking communities in Sabah and used in earliest history books and other literatures to refer to the Dusunic communities.

“It is also enshrined in the Malaysian Constitution under Article 161 (A). I am not very far from the truth in saying that USDA is one of the oldest, if not the oldest cultural and race-based association in Sabah having been established in 1961 with the objective of maintaining its racial and cultural identity and to bring this community to a higher level of achievement in cultural, economic and social development as well as to try to participate in the development of the state from its early days.

“I am stating categorically that the term ‘Dusun’ is not in any way derogative as some people think it is  and it does not and will not hinder the community from moving forward in every field of endeavour,” he said.