KOTA KINABALU: The recent Keningau Oath Stone transfer ceremony has nothing to do with the current Sabah government and was approved and funded by the previous federal government, clarified Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) secretary general Loretto Sipin Padua.

Padua denied the opposition claims linking the government with the process of transfer and said the allegations stating that the Warisan-led government had politicized Batu Sumpah was not true at all.

“The idea of the transfer was submitted by the previous government and the allocation for the ceremony was approved and presented by the former Minister of Tourism and Culture Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Aziz, which was also attended by state Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders at that time including Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Tan Sri Joseph Kurup and the Keningau District Officer,” he said in a statement released here yesterday.

“It is unfair to accuse government leaders present during the ceremony with various allegations because our presence was just an invitation and on the basis of respecting the ceremonial transfer of the Oath Stone which is so important to the rural community,” added Padua.

Loretto said he wasn’t sure why the Keningau MP, Bingkor state assemblyman and the Huguan Siou were not present during the recent historical ceremony.

He added that as the rural and Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) leaders, they should have been present there.

“We are supposed to set aside respective political beliefs and together witness the transfer of the Batu Sumpah, which has been the belief of the rural people all this time,” said Padua.

“In fact, many community leaders who attended to witness the ceremony were Datuk Seri Panglima Sedomon Gunsanad’s heirs,” he said.

Loretto also suggested that the organizers of the ceremony to come forth and explain so that no more issues could be played out by unscrupulous parties.