MNC president applauds Ewon for highlighting the use of the word ‘Momogun’

KOTA KINABALU: Former Momogun National Congress (MNC) President, Datuk Henrynus Amin, has applauded UPKO President, Datuk Ewon Benedick, for highlighting the aspiration of the dusunic, murutic, and paitanic indigenous community in Sabah to be collectively called Momogun instead of the acronym “KDMRS” during his recent speech in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly.

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Henrynus, who is also President of Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri, said in a statement that the national aspiration of the dusunic murutic and paitanic tribal communities in Sabah is to be officially recognised under a common classification in official forms and included in the national data system.

He said that in the last 60 years, the dusunic, murutic, and paitanic tribal communities, who are indigenous to Borneo and who are closely related in terms of geographic origin, language, culture, and genetics, have been divided and denied a common national identity.

“It is absurd that the dusunic, murutic, and paitanic tribal groups were given the acronym KDMRS in the media.”

He said the dusunic, murutic, and paitanic tribal groups, also known as Kadazan/Dusun, Murut, Rungus, and Sungai, are Malaysians in Borneo, and collectively, they are the definitive community of Sabah.

“It is therefore very discouraging or disheartening to find them still classified as “lain lain” in official forms and, by implication, not included in the national data system.”

He said that in spite of numerous attempts in the past, the dusunic, murutic, and paitanic tribal communities have not been able to come up with a common classification to enable them to be classified in official forms.

He said the Momogun National Congress (MNC) has since proposed the term “Momogun,” which, like the term “Dayak” used in Sarawak, simply means “people indigenous to the land of Borneo.”.

He said the use of the term “Momogun” is a well-documented fact recorded in several historical writings.

In fact, as of today, the dusunic (Rungus and Kimaragang) community in Kudat Kota Marudu Matunggung and Pitas continues to call themselves Momogun.

He said the two Murut ethnic associations have also accepted the term Momogun as the collective national identity of all dusunic murutic and paitanic tribal groups.

Henrynus urged Ewon, as UPKO President, State Assemblyman, and Federal Minister, to provide the leadership to realise the noble aspiration of the dusunic murutic and paitanic tribal communities to be classified in official forms and included in the national data system.

As President of Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri, Henrynus said he fully supports efforts to unite, empower, and prosper the indigenous community in Sabah, including helping the dusunic, murutic, and paitanic tribal communities achieve their national aspiration to be recognised in official forms and the national data system.

Meanwhile, Henrynus said the drastic shift in the political demography of the State of Sabah is an existential threat to the dusunic, murutic, and paitanic communities.

“Without a national identity, the dusunic, murutic, and paitanic communities are being overwhelmed by the huge presence of a transient population, some of whom may have obtained identity cards through the back door under Projek IC.”

He said it is scandalous that the dusunic murutic and paitanic groups were being lumped together under “lain lain” or Bumiputra Sabah with Filipinos, Indonesians, and even Pakistanis, who may have obtained Malaysian identity cards holding Bumiputra status through the back door.

He said it is true that the dusunic, murutic, and paitanic tribal communities, even if classified as Momogun, may not have the numbers to justify their inclusion in official forms.

But he said, collectively, if grouped together, the Dayak in Sarawak and the Momogun in Sabah actually constitute almost two million people.

“Their number obviously is more than enough to qualify them to be classified in official forms and included in the national data system.”

Henrynus suggested that for the purpose of classification, apart from Malay, Chinese, and Indians, there should be a new classification for Dayak and Momogun in the official forms, representing the indigenous Malaysians of Borneo origins.

He said there is already consensus in Sarawak to classify the Iban, Bidayuh, Lumbawang, Kelabit, Bisaya, Kayan, Kenyah, Penan, etc. under Dayak.

“While there are still some challenges in Sabah to convince some powerful elites who have vested interest in politics to keep the status quo or to keep the dusunic murutic and paitanic community small, divided, and poor, the use of “Momogun” as a national identity is gaining traction.

He said there is no doubt an urgent need to initiate dialogue with all stakeholders at the state and federal levels on the issue of a common national identity for the dusunic, murutic, and paitanic communities and their inclusion in the official forms and the national data system.

Further, he said the Momogun National Congress (MNC), as the premier organisation promoting the use of “Momogun” in official forms, should initiate discussion with the various Dayak associations in Sarawak to find common ground and work together to achieve their respective national aspirations to be included in the official forms and the national data system.

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