UMS to offer study programmes on culture and customs of Sabah natives


Shalmon (sixth from right) handing the association’s profile to Benedict during the meeting.

KOTA KINABALU (Jan 13): Those who are interested in learning the culture and customs of native groups in Sabah will soon be able to take up study programmes for certificate and Diploma level at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

On Thursday, UMS Borneo Institute for Indigenous Studies (BORIIS) and Sekolah Adat Anak Negeri Sabah (Sunduan Nabalu) held a meeting with the Sabah Native Affairs Council (MHEANS) to discuss the development of culture and customs education of Sabah natives.

During the three-hour meeting, the two parties reached an agreement to offer Sabah Culture and Customs Education as certificate and Diploma study programmes at UMS.

This will allow Sabahans the opportunity to learn about the various ethnic groups in Sabah such as Kadazan, Dusun and Rungus, and will serve as a means to provide a more systematic culture and customs education to the community.

Such a move is also aimed to dignify the culture and customs education system, and allow the students to meet requirements and job qualifications that involve administration knowledge of customs.

The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) draft for this endeavour is still being refined and is expected to be signed in February this year.

Sunduan Nabalu president Shalmon Sanangan said if the effort to introduce customs and culture education at the public higher learning institution (IPTA) level is realized, it will be a big and meaningful achievement for traditional groups in Sabah.

He said it will also indirectly improve the teaching quality of educating the younger generation on local customs and culture, as well as raise the dignity of the judicial system in Sabah’s Native Court (MAN).

Also present were BORIIS chief researcher Prof Dr Rosazman Hussin, BORIIS deputy director Dr Jeannet Stephen, BORIIS assistant researcher Johan Johnes, MHEANS president Tindarama Dr Benedict Topin and MHEANS research officer Beverly Judin.

From Sunduan Nabalu’s side were its advisor Datuk Steven Beliku, general secretary Simon Chia, development director Milin Miok Jr, as well as the headmaster of Sekolah Adat Anak Negeri Batu Punggul in Pensiangan, Maikol Ampuas, headmaster of Sekolah Adat Anak Negeri Mongkobung in Sepanggar, Dobby Kristus, and headmaster of Sekolah Adat Anak Negeri Ulu Keramuak in Tongod, Jikal Naidun.