Sipitang in Sabah is where the ethnic of Kadayan concentration can be found. They are only about two hundred and forty thousand Kadayan in the world1.
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By the late 70s, the first Kadayan MP for Sipitang was Tuan Haji Abd Rashid Hj Jais from Kg Pantai. Later during BERJAYA Government there was a break Sipitang then known as Ulu Padas represented by Datuk Harris Mohd Salleh, Labuan born Kadayan from his mother’s side-former Sabah Chief Minister.
Beginning the creation of the present political boundaries, Sipitang seat for MP comprises of two State Assemblies, DUN Sindumin and DUN Lumadan. Thus MP for Sipitang and DUN Sindumin has been Kadayan.
The longest surviving MP for Sipitang is Datuk Dr Yussof Yacob.
On record, the longest surviving MP for Sipitang, four terms, until he was dropped as BN candidate this 2008 is Datuk Dr Yussof Yacob. His place is now taken over by Datuk Sapawi Ahmad who was formerly YB for DUN Sindumin for the last three terms.
BN now is fielding new face a Sindumin born Kadayan Hj Ahmad Bin Hj Bujang replacing Datuk Sapawi.
Sipitang is also one of the places in Sabah where general election is made festive every time General Election is held.
Go to any kedai kopi and look at the faces- the mood of the people is akin to Hari Raya, Christmas or Chinese New Year festivity.
This is in fact Sabah's culture, which is still somewhat evergreen as was for many decades ago.
I was just watching the crowd immediately after the names of candidates announced, moment nomination of names for candidacy closed, and anxiety was replaced by sigh of relief.
I think the main anxiety was about the hopefuls being disqualified.
The candidates roamed around for a while meeting their potential voters.
But weather wasn’t kind that day. I saw from the distance Hj Ramlee (KEADILAN) was soaked wet. I didn’t see the rest of the candidates because I was standing quite a distance away.
In Sipitang though fortunately there had been no unexpected incident as in some places we already heard.
A few friends have asked of my views of those being disqualified on technicality.
My answer in hypothetical way is if I were the retaining officer I would not like to panelise candidates unnecessarily.
Not on trivial matters.
To me, if they are sane, let them have fun participating in the general election apart from giving chances to people to make their on judgment. The disqualification would only be made out if it is clearly unlawful in law, for example, because of bankruptcy or where other laws state they are not eligible; being five minutes late if they could give me good reason I would just proceed, wrongly spell address or alias aren’t fatal. Where discretion is given, I would definitely use my discretion.
As Kadayan Monitor I would give a countdown and try to give readers a snippet of Kadayan candidates and Kadayan politicians in general.
See you soon…
1Amdee Sidik, The Mystic of Borneo-Kadayan, Bookstand Publishing & Borneo Publisher 2007