KOTA KINABALU: The time has come for the Kadazandusun to be united more than ever before and regain respect from the other communities, said Upko acting president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau.
“The time has come for us, more so now than ever before, to be united and be counted as one. Our community had achieved much, but without any doubt, we could have done and grasped so much more,” he said.
Speaking after presenting a RM100,000 to Huguan Siou cum President of the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan for the publication of a book entitled “Kadazandusunology Om Rinait”, he also urged the people to stand united behind Pairin and “misompuru id koubasanan” (be united through culture).
“As the Huguan Siou have mentioned we have found the “tataba” (magic wand), which was the unity of the people gaining respect from the other community,” said Tangau who is also Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation at the KDCA Honorary Awards Presentation ceremony held in Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa here Thursday night.
“There was a time when we were even shy to be identified as a Kadazandusun but not anymore and I think this was when Huguan Siou stood his ground to say that this is our right and nobody should take our right from us,” he said to applause from the floor.
However, Tangau said it was sad that there were people who continued to talk about the Kadazandusun losing the “tataba” but did not even think of wanting to unite.
“The time has come for us to unite, and to be a good leader, we must be a good follower. The Huguan Siou has done a lot for us and this is an understatement,” he added.
Tangau also acknowledged that the contribution for the publication of the first-of-its-kind book symbolised the homecoming to KDCA for him who had been involved with KDCA when it was still known as the Kadazan Cultural Association when its office was located in Sinsuran.
He revealed that he was very interested to support the book’s publication when Benedict Topin and KDCA secretary-general Datuk Ir John Anthony showed it to him last Kaamatan.
“To me only when it is written in a book can we really understand where we come from and gain respect and that it is all right to be a Kadazandusun. This book will tell us who we are,” said Tangau.
Besides that, the wellbeing of the Momogun community has always been Upko’s priority in the political arena since its inception in the 1960s, he said.
“It is not so much the amount, more the intention. Upko is synonym with the Momogun journey in politics towards a better tomorrow. I am only too happy to chip in for the people,” he said.
He further noted that such efforts were in line with Upko’s struggle to put the Momogun community at a higher pedestal cutting across all political boundaries.
“Upko’s struggle is based on its seven pillars and ideologies for the Momogun rights including to seek betterment of the community’s livelihood as well as preservation of their culture and traditions,” he pointed out. Meanwhile, Pairin in his speech expressed gratitude to Tangau for the contribution to sponsor the publication of the book.
He also commended the big delegation from Tangau attending the ceremony comprising among others Upko vice presidents Tan Sri Wences Angang and Datuk Masiung Banah as well council of elder Toh Puan Rahimah Stephens.
“Hopefully our hearts will be united and finally we will walk along one path,” said Pairin who is also a Deputy Chief Minister.