TUARAN: In officially opening the new Borneo Lotud Meseum here on Saturday, Deputy Chief Minister and Member of Parliament for Tuaran, Datuk Madius Tangau said that the new heritage centre should become a source for cultural education for all people, especially the Lotuds.
He foresees the museum to become another of the already many tourism attractions in Tuaran, while congratulating the museum initiator and owner, the Sabah Lotud Chamber of Commerce and Industry, headed by its president Pediman Jabau, for having started the museum quietly on its own without external funding.
“The chamber has been very successful in part due to its ability to work with the government departments and agencies,” said Tangau who is also the state Minister of Trade and Industry.
In his speech, Pediman said it was indeed a historic day with the launching of the Museum Lotud Borneo which is intended to exhibit as many as possible the still available Lotud community’s objects of the cultural heritages.
“This is important for the benefit of the Lotud people themselves, especially members of the younger generation who, because of modernity, are no longer using a lot of old implements and instruments such as those for padi planting, for their livelihood,” he said.
“The other heritage worth keeping are the many items used in the rituals of the old religion, now that the new generation of Lotuds have already converted to non-traditional religions.
“Because of this, I am requesting for support from all Lotuds to contribute to the value of this museum by contributing whatever instruments of the old days to this museum.
Rather than throwing them away or allowing them to rot, we may as well keep them in this museum for the benefit of future generation, even as 100 or 200 years from now,” Pediman added.
“I promise that every item will be duly marked with the name of its contributor so the contributor’s descendants may one day see the items and be very proud that such items belong to their ancestors.”
He also appealed for support for the new Lotud flag which was raised by Madius during the occasion.
“This is the first time that we in the community created a special flag to symbolise ourselves and our culture in the form of a flag which we in the old days called ‘tunggul’,” he explained.
Pediman also sought funding from Tangau’s ministry to finance a research project to identity ways to improve the entrepreneurial performance of the Lotud community.
Pediman who runs an insurance firm and property ventures from his shophouse in Tuaran township, while running his three-storey museum cum office and Bayangkan Café at the Berungis Commercial Centre, has been officially recognised with awards at the state level as the most successful Lotud entrepreneur.