Snub of Huguan Siou causes stir
KOTA KINABALU, June 16 (The Star) -- The
apparent snub of the Huguan Siou (paramount head) of the
Kadazandusun people at the recent national-level Tadau Kaamatan
open house here has caused a stir among the community.
Not only was Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan not invited to join
other leaders in the symbolic padi-cutting of the annual
harvesting festival but the ritual related to the event
was also overlooked by the organisers, they said.
The Parti Bersatu Sabah chief, who has stayed mum on the
issue, attended the event but was glaringly left out from
the padi-cutting ceremony at the grandstand although he
stood with the VIPs who performed the symbolic act.
The national Tadau Kaamatan open house at Padang Merdeka
here on Saturday was organised by the Information, Communications
and Culture Ministry and launched by Yang di-Pertua Negeri
Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.
Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and Sabah Chief Minister
Datuk Musa Aman were also present.
“The significance and meaning of the Kaamatan was lost
at the national level celebration of the padi harvest festival,”
Kadazandusun leader Datuk Johnny Mositun said.
“As a Huguan Siou, he (Pairin) must be accorded respect
by the organisers,” added Mositun, who is deputy state assembly
“Otherwise, individuals and groups from the community will
continue to raise questions about the lack of sensitivity
in marking the event,” he said.
Regarding the omission of the magavau ceremony (to seek
blessing of the padi spirit), Kadazandusun Cultural Association
(KDCA) executive secretary Benedict Topin said it was a
significant ritual that should not be left out.
He said the symbolic presence of the Kadazandusun priestess
was important at such function as her role was to create
harmony with the padi spirit and the people.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi
Manjun said his ministry was not involved in the national