Posts Tagged 'Persatuan Murut Sabah'

Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) may have lost its appeal to the Muruts

Rumour has it that the once mighty Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) may have lost its appeal to the Murut people if the recent spate of declared intentions by some Murut professionals in Tenom and Keningau to form their own ethnic associations are of  any serious indication.

To many, their perception is that the present leadership are merely filling up the seats for their own glory and glamour on the basis that they are doing it by default as the required Annual General Meetings to elect new members of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi provided for in its constitution have not been held for many years.  They may have obtained tacit approval from the Registrar of Socities to postpone the holding of the said Annual General Meetings time and again but to the majority of the Murut people, it begs the question of morality on their part as they have long exhausted the mandate given to them in the last election of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi.  In fact,  they perceived that the failure of the present leadership to conduct a general meeting is a purported exerise to deny the majority of the members to elect a new and fresh composition of office bearers to rescue the Association from its present predicament. They are saying that the reason of the present leadership as being very busy with their official committment to conduct a general meeting is no longer tenable.

It is also alleged that quite a number of the present members of the top leadership are acting like elitists.  It is further alleged that when it came to organising the annual Pesta Kalimaran in Tenom recently, the Association was merely piggy riding on the back of the Sabah Cultural Board so much so that it was reduced to only giving speeches rather than contributing to making major decision in the festival deemed as one of the highlights of the state tourism calendar to showcase the beauty and uniqeness of the Murut traditional handicrafts and cultures in Malaysia.

However, as a former secretary general of the Association, it is unpalatable that they are actually true but then again, I have been out of the equation for quite sometimes now and people may have changed over time.

Nonetheless, it is very upsetting to hear from the ordinary Muruts on the street that while they are glad to have their own Association meant to preserve, promote and develop their cultures, they do still perceive that it had failed miserably in its responsibility to pursue many of the objectives laid down in its constitution.

I remember, in the early years when the current president took office,  there was so much hope of a new beginning.  Meetings of the then Ahli Majlis Tertinggi would last for hours to deliberate on many issues pertaining to improving the welfare and interest of the Murut people in Sabah. In fact, there were a lot of activities being organised by the Association to showcase its traditional and cultural uniqeness among the people of Sabah. We had the pleasure of being part of the main organising committee of the state level Pesta Kaamatan for two consecutive years. I am happy to report  the day the Association reached its height was when the whole members of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi were  invited to the Istana to witness the posthumous investure of the highest award of the state, the Seri Paduka Darjah Kinabalu (SPDK) to the late Murut warrior, Datuk Seri Panglima Ontoros Antanom and thereinafter, the erection of the Antanom memorial in Tenom by the state government of Sabah.

However, that was it. The journey began to stumble. The many promises to rejuvenate the Murut people by enhancing their participation in commerce and industry through advocacy, networking, information dissemination, mutual support and joint-venture cooperation with other enterpreneurs and businessmen of the other ethnic groups vide a proposed Murut  Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) as well as an Education Trust Foundation for  scholarships to bright but poor Murut students remain elusive. 

As such, I am really saddened but not the least surprise if the intentions to virtually set up the two new Murut associations in Tenom and Keningau recently  are already underway.  The present leadership may have bitten more than they can chew. 

Whatever it is, I am hoping that those people who are currently involved in the proposed set up of the two new Murut Associations in the interior would have come to their senses that there is in fact,  no viable alternative to the present Persatuan Murut Sabah. That any new association would only generate irreparable split and division within the Murut community. I am convinced that the present top leadership in the Association would have taken stock of the turbulence and be prepared to hold a general meeting cum election of the Ahli Majlis Tertinggi in the very near future.  



Pesta Kalimaran 2009

The main entrance of the Murut Cultural Centre, Tenom

The main entrance of the Murut Cultural Centre, Tenom

depan-dewan-kalimaranPesta Kalimaran is a Murut festival yearly held on the first week of April of a calendar year. It celebrates and honours the Murut people and their uniquie traditions through a 3 day showcase of cultural events that feature among others, a myriad of traditional Murut dances, songs, food, games and handicrafts.

Despite the global economic downturn, Pesta Kalimaran was an exception. Themed “Kalimaran Towards Progressive Community”, It was held for 3 days beginning from the 3rd. April to the 5th April 2009 at the Murut Cultural Centre in Tenom, Sabah where the Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman had this to say ” holding various ethnic cultural festivals is important in ensuring continuity of the State’s cultural heritage which can, otherwise, be easily forgotten due to globalisation”
and further reinforced his belief by saying ” these ethnic festivals not only make the ethnics concerned more known and popular but attract more tourists ” as evidenced from an increase in tourists’ arrival to Sabah from 1.25 million in 2003 to 2.3 million last year alone where the country is also estimated to receive over 24 million tourists by next year of which the expected income to be generated will be about RM59 billion and would be expected to provide 520,700 jobs. “

Among the highlights was the allocation of awards in the form of 2 full-grown cows and goats to the winners who had worn the most complete Murut traditional costumes regardless of ethnicity on the 2nd day of the celebration.

These are some of the pictures taken to show enthusiastic Muruts from all walks of life.

The Judges with the winner (men) of Murut Kolor ethnicity >

The Judges with the winner (men) of Murut Kolor ethnicity

[/caption id="attachment_689" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Muruts of Tagol ethnicity"]The Judges with Muruts of Tagol ethnicity[/caption]


Yes. Ready for the showcase of their lives?

Yes. Ready for the showcase of their lives?

Murut ladies well-known for their handicrafts creativity

an up and coming local murut artist

an up and coming local murut artist

a very charming and pleasant lady

a very charming and pleasant lady

Folks, I will have more pictures in my next post.


The Latest on Pensiangan

A former Pensiangan MP sharing his thoughts on Pensiangan

A former Pensiangan MP sharing his thoughts on Pensiangan

Datuk Taimin Lumaing, a Murut, was at one time a two term MP of Pensiangan during the PBS rule in Sabah between 1985 and 1995. He was at one time, prior to joining politics, a medical assistant working in one of the government hospitals. He had his fair shares of opposition politics due to PBS being an opposition government in Sabah then. Apart from being a businessman, he is now a member of Pensiangan UMNO as well as the Deputy President of Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS).

During his heydays, he was known to be a maverick among his peers much to the displeasure of some of his colleagues then. He has since mellowed but his love for politics remains as refreshing as ever.

To him, whoever wins the by-election must not only offer lip service but must be seen to be delivering physically, promises made to the people of Pensiangan. But much as he wished for a murut candidate, as of today, he has not seen or read or heard any alternative development plan offered by Danny Andipai vis a vis the opposition party. That is why he is non committal as to whether PKR, would be able to deliver all their promises even if they won the By-Election, hypothetically speaking.

Now, could anyone correctly read his mind? Has he made up his mind already? Be my guest folks!


Datuk Rubin Balang, the new Tenom UMNO Chief

Datuk Rubin Balang, the President of Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) in action with a traditional Murut Blowpipe

Datuk Rubin Balang, the President of Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) in action with a traditional Murut Blowpipe

” RUBIN WINS ” that was the New Sabah Times’ headline today. Yes. Would I be delighted of the news? who wouldn’t. He is my president, the current President of Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) of which I am currently the Treasurer-General. I have of course served as the Secretary-General of PMS when Datuk Rubin was first elected as the President way back in 2000.

Since then, we have gone back a long way in the rough and tumble of strenghtening PMS and getting it to be offically recognised by the state government as being the rightful platform for the Murut not only economically but I have to concede, the full recognition of the Murut culture, its beautiful traditions and of its people who would excel in producing eye catching original handicrafts. Under Datuk Rubin’s leadership, the evidence of PMS’ success is none other than the state-sponsored KALIMARAN Festival held annualy at the Pusat Kebudayaan Murut in Tenom.

Although he is currently the Kemabong Assemblyman, the Chairman of the Sabah Housing Development Board and a former Sabah Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, he is to me first, a president of our Murut association who, since his election, had done so much in bringing the association to where it is now. A place, aptly recognised by the state government. At the back of my mind, I thought, our association had also played a very important role in determining who the right BN candidate should be to contest in the Tenom Parliamentary seat in last general election? Any of you folks buying this? Unbelieveable? Believe it.

Honestly, I should say that although Datuk Rubin may not have the necessary paper qualifications, he is no doubt, a charismatic leader who had held the Kemabong state seat for four terms. When he was the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, he made it his mission to place the Murut warrior dance at the forefront of every cultural presentation culminating in, if my memory serves me right, a commendable win in a cultural dance competition in Spain?

That is why, I was very confident that where the majority of UMNO members are Muruts and if the Tenom UMNO Divisional election were to be conducted according to the true meaning of a democratic process, Datuk Rubin Balang would win the election this time around after failing to wrest it from Datuk Rizalman Abdullah in the last UMNO election. Well. He did it yesterday. He toppled Datuk Rizalman who had been the Chief for a record 17 years.

It was in fact, an open secret that there was bad blood between the two contenders. No stone unturned in the heat of the campaign. Each had his own pebble to throw at the other and vice versa. The heat became so unbearable that one of the contenders had to lodge a police report alleging someone from the other camp had purportedly hired a hitman to cause hurt to the complainant. I would not wish to dwell further on this as I believe the relevant authority are in the process of investigating the alleged incident.

But what a memorable farewell to the last UMNO divisional meeting in Malaysia!. Apart from the above, I was told later that the recount of votes went on for about 10 times last night. Imagine OMG. At one time, it was Datuk Rubin Balang who won by two votes but on count back, it was Datuk Rizalman winning by a mere one vote. Could anybody believe the tension filling the Chung Hwa school hall where the votes were counted? It was not only very stressful for the contenders but their supporters too. In the end, it was Datuk Rubin who triumphed. He won by a majority of 56 votes after ganering 189 votes to Rizalman’s 133 votes. I was told that the police and Rela had played a very important role in making sure that no untoward incident happened. A big thank you to them.

With this defeat, it is anybody’s guess about the political future of Datuk Rizalman. Would he be able to make a come back? Only time will tell.


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