KOTA KINABALU, June 22,
2011 (The Borneo Post) -- Almost two weeks have passed but
the supposedly grandeur national level Kaamatan Open House
held on June 11 continues to receive criticism.
The manner in which the event was hosted has been regarded
as disrespectful to the traditions and culture of the Kadazandusun
Murut (KDM) community.
A number of state leaders did not hide their disappointment
in pointing out the organizer’s poor understanding of the
rituals of the Kaamatan, in particular their failure to
invite the Huguan Siou (KDM paramount leader) to join on
stage to officiate the ceremony.
The Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture,
the organizer of the event, has been held responsible for
the ‘insult’ and has been urged to apologize for the seemingly
Yesterday, Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk
Radin Malleh joined the chorus, saying the ministry had
deeply hurt the feelings of the KDM community by ignoring
the Huguan Siou, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
“It was not a Kaamatan. The spirit, traditions and the
rites were not there. The celebration defeated its own purpose.
The organizer has hurt the feelings of the Kadazans, Dusuns
“They forgot the importance of Kaamatan in symbolizing
the relationships between the communities and their Huguan
Siou,” he said.
Radin, who wanted to be quoted as a Murut leader, said
the situation was further aggravated by the arrogance of
the organizer, who he pointed until know still displayed
a ‘don’t know’ attitude towards the feelings of the KDM.
Their disappointment has fallen on deaf ears, he added.
“The whole community felt humiliated and disrespected when
their paramount leader was treated as such. This is indeed
against the very purpose of the celebration, which is to
promote the 1Malaysia concept,” said Radin, who is also
the Melalap assemblyman.
Previously, KDM leaders had said that leaving the paramount
leader out of the symbolic launching of the national Kaamatan
celebration was very unfortunate and most disgraceful to
They said Pairin should have been given due respect to
be among the VIPs invited to perform the symbolic harvest
of rice, in accordance with the tradition of Kaamatan and
in recognition of his status as the KDM highest leader.
To be fair to the ministry, however, the state government,
which had sent its representative to the organizing committee
meeting ahead of the event, should have had their say in
the planning of the celebration.
Such shortcomings in protocol could have
been spotted and avoided, he said.