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  • Wartawan Nabalu News

KDCA a beacon of Cultural Pride in Sabah

21 January 2024

By Wartawan Nabalu News

KOTA KINABALU: United Kinabalu Progressive Organisation (UPKO) President Datuk Ewon Benedick lauded the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) for being a dynamic and indispensable cultural association.

He emphasised the KDCA's consistent commitment to cultural preservation, community development, and the promotion of unity and praised the association for its efforts in safeguarding cultural traditions and ensuring their transmission to future generations.

In his speech  during the KDCA Huguan Siou Award 2021 and Thanksgiving & Goodwill Dinner 2024 at ITCC last night he acknowledged that recognising the imperative nature of safeguarding cultural traditions, the association has taken noteworthy strides to ensure the continuous efforts in cultural preservation, promotion, community development and fostering unity in Sabah and in their transmission for future generations.

“KDCA also supports sustainable agricultural practices, entrepreneurship, and small-scale industries within the community, thereby fostering economic growth,” he said.

His speech was delivered by UPKO secretary general Datuk Nelson W. Angang.

“In promoting Sabah cultural tourism and entrepreneurships amongst the native of Sabah, KDCA and other native based association need to discuss in unison on new ideas to support our native entrepreneurs to further promote and to commercialize cultural products and services,” Ewon who is also the Minister of Entrepreneur Development and Cooperative said.

He mentioned that land development and ownership remain a challenge for some segment of the native community until today.

“The recognition for native customary rights (NCR) for some are still being litigated in our courts,” he said adding that in this respect, all native based association must be in unison to protect and support our native community who are entitled but are still deprived of these rights.

Ewon highlighted the challenges of ensuring food security and the revival of the Sabah Paddy Board. He expressed support for native farmers, especially hill paddy farmers, and mentioned the state government's plans to increase hill paddy production, which would provide better economic returns to farmers.

He also emphasised the importance of Borneonisation, which involves ensuring that the promised intake, employment, and promotions to senior positions in the state and federal civil services are based on the Malaysia Agreement (MA63).

He acknowledged the formation of a unity government at the federal level, with political parties and leaders from Sabah and Sarawak playing a major role.

He stressed on the importance of understanding, respect, and cooperation among leaders to contribute to the new national narrative and fulfill the expectations of the community. He also highlighted the commitments from the federal government towards Sabah and its people within the spirit of the MA63.

“With the continued understanding, respect and cooperation amongst our leaders will ensure that we can be part and contribute to the new national narrative in charting a new course for our nation and to ensure that the expectation of our community and the commitments from the Federal government towards Sabah and its people within the spirit of the MA63 as envisioned by our forefathers (who was lead by our First Huguan Siou Tun DSP Doanld Stephens) which has yet to be fully realize can finally be delivered,” he stressed.

Also present during the event were Huguan Siou Tan Sri DSP Joseph Pairin Kitingan, STAR President Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Clarence Bongkos Malakun Committee Chairman of KDCA Huguan Siou Award, Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup and Datuk Jahid Jahim.


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