KOTA KINABALU September 14, 2012: Effort should be taken to incorporate more of Sabah’s history and culture into the national education system, said Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun.
He said this is to promote better understanding among other Malaysians and help address racial issues that stem from lack of understanding of Sabah’s culture among other Malaysians.
Masidi, who is also Sabah education exco, said the most recent controversy involving a blogger describing the Sumazau as a cult and worship dance was a saddening reminder of reality that many outside Sabah were completely ignorant about the State’s culture and tradition.
“Although we have been in the same country for almost 50 years, many people in other parts of this great nation don’t even understand our culture,”
he said here yesterday, commenting on the widely criticised article entitled “Tarian Sumazau Untuk Golongan Rendah Akhlak” (Sumazau Dance is for immoral people).
An unknown blogger posted the article in his page Suara Pakatan Rakyat earlier this week but removed it after receiving angry response and comments from readers, some of which included death threats.
Leaders in Sabah, particularly those from the Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) community, were also fuming at the insult, saying the article denigrated not just the Sumazau traditional dance but the culture and the whole identity of their community.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (UPKO) said they strongly condemned the article and demanded the authority to investigate and punish those involved.
Opposition pact Pakatan Rakyat, to whom the blogger claimed to be aligned with, said they had nothing to do with the article nor the writer.
Masidi, who is also Sabah Umno assistant secretary, suggested informative contents on Sabah’s culture, arts and tradition be taught in schools, either in History classes or as part of the co-curriculum activities.
The Karanaan assemblyman urged Sabahans to be calmed and not react emotionally to the degrading remarks and leave it to the authorities concerned to investigate and deal with the issue.
“Police reports have been lodged and we should leave it to them to investigate. I hope and call on the people not get carried away. We must remain rational as two mistakes don’t make a right. Let us look at it as a blogger having some kind of mental problem,” he said when met after representing Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman at the official opening of Najib’s Leadership Seminar at Universiti Institut Teknologi Mara (UiTM).
He said more should be done to promote the identity of Sabah to the rest of Malaysia.