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Thursday, January 12, 2017

Oath Stone must 'stay in Keningau'

KOTA KINABALU - The sacred Oath Stone belongs in the Keningau district where it was first erected and honoured and no one has the right, including the government, to move it to another district.

Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku President and the Huguan Siou Lundu Mirongod Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said this is because such action cannot be done without the total consent of the natives of the Interior residency.

"History cannot be tampered with or changed... it is our history that the people of the Interior opposed the formation of Malaysia without the assurances of their rights being sworn according to their customs and traditional beliefs...and that happened in Keningau.

"If you can change history according to your whims and fancies, then that means you have no respect for the truth of history and the traditions, adat and culture of the natives for which the Oath Stone itself demands," he said.

Jeffrey was commenting on the statement made by Democratic Action Party (DAP) Advisor Lim Kit Siang during his speech at the launching of PH Sabah on Sunday.

According to Lim, Dap will realise such move if they won the 14th General Election to remind members of the State Legislative Assembly on the three terms displayed on the Oath Stone that must be honoured.

The terms displayed on the Oath Stone are - Freedom of religion in Sabah, the Government of Sabah holds authority over land in the State and the native customs and traditions will be respected and upheld by the Government and in return, the people of Sabah's Interior pledge loyalty to the Government of Malaysia.

Jeffrey urged Lim and those with him to respect the contents and the pledges of the Oath Stone as well as respect the truth of 'our history and our adat and customs'.

"The Oath Stone belongs to Keningau and the natives of the interior. By all means you can erect fakes ones... but the original must stay in Keningau," he said.

He warned that any attempt to do that is akin to inviting trouble to the house of those who disrespected the people's customs and beliefs.

"Nanti kena sumpah (They'll be cursed) by the forces of the adat and by our ancestors," he quipped.

The Oath Stone plaque with the words "Kerajaan Malaysia Jamin" (Malaysian Government Guarantees) went missing in 1980s and another plaque without the key words was put in its place.

Despite an order by Tourism Minsiter for it to be restored as per the original wording, it has not been done to this day as promised by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, himself a Sabahan, quoting lack of funds for the job to be properly carried out.

The original plaque was found by a local who then handed it to Jeffrey. Jeffrey in turn handed it over to the police after he was requested to do so. - DE

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