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KDMR associations unamused Marcel Jude's case settled outside Native Court


Datuk Ewon Ebin

16 Aug 2021


KOTA KINABALU: Several KadazanDusun Murut Rungus (KDMR) associations are not happy that lawyer Marcel Jude's case was settled outside the Native Court.


Twenty of these unsatisfied KDMR associations yesterday filed a statement of claim in the Native Court in Tuaran against Marcel for his remarks describing the annual Unduk Ngadau pageant as 'cattle show'.


The claim was filed by United Sabah Dusun Association Association (USDA) president Datuk Ewon Ebin.


He was representing the other 19 associations, namely Angkatan Perpaduan Sabah (APS), Momogun National Congress (MNC), Persatuan Dusun Luba Sabah, Persatuan Kebudayaan Lundayoh, Persatuan Tombonuo Sabah, Persatuan Suang Lotud, Persatuan Pengamal Adat Sabah, Persatuan Tatana Kebudayaan Sabah, Persatuan Penjajah dan Peniaga Kecil Pasar Besar Kota Kinabalu, Rungus Cultural Association (RCA), Persatuan Kimarangan Sabah, Persatuan Suku Kaum Dusun Subpan Segama, Lahad Datu Sabah, Persatuan Etnik Sonsogon Sabah, Persatuan Desanita, Persatuan Tinagas Zon Utara, Persatuan Tindal Sabah, Persatuan Komulakan Suang Lotud Tuaran and Persatuan Tobilung Sabah.


Ewon in a statement said: "Today I represent 20 KDMR associations representing various ethnic communities (and) filed a statement of claim in the native court in Tuaran against Marcel Jude for insulting the community by his remarks on the Unduk Ngadau pageant in May.


"We, the associations involved, had a meeting on July 10 to discuss the matter and we came to the conclusion that what Marcel did was a grave insult to the community and a grave breach of the native customary law. Therefore the matter had to be brought to the native court for adjudication," he said.


Ewon also said that there is a widespread of apprehension across the KDMR community on the so-called settlement on the matter via an agreement with Marcel through the mediation of KDCA, to pay a 'sogit' of seven buffaloes to the KDMR community.


"Our stand is that the mediation as facilitated by KDCA is not legally valid because proper procedure was not adhered to. KDCA is only an NGO and therefore cannot claim that it represents the whole community.


"Moreover, many ethnic associations affiliated with KCDA had not been consulted about the court and deal" Ewon claimed, adding that the associations that filed the claim stressed that mediation must be conducted in a native court by an official of the native court.


Firstly, he pointed out, there must be a commencement of summons by the complainant in the native court.


"If there is a desire of mediation by both parties, the process must be conducted by an official in the native court. The parties (involved) cannot discuss, negotiate and agree outside the court and later ask the native court to endorse it," Ewon said.


He was of the opinion that the Penampang native court must stand to protect the sanctity of the matter accordingly.


Otherwise, the judicial independence of the court is compromised as it is seen to be subjugated to influence from outside and this will have serious repercussion in the future, he stressed.


"We therefore collectively decided to bring the case to the native court for adjudication," he said.


Last week KDCA Deputy President Bulawan Sigah Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said the association has reached an agreement with Marcel Jude Joseph to resolve the issue of the latter’s insult to the KDMR community.


He disclosed that Marcel has agreed to settle a ‘sogit’ of seven buffaloes to the KDMR community, through the KDCA, within 14 days. On top of that, Marcel is also required to publish a half-page public apology in a daily local newspaper of his choice.


Dr Jeffrey said that the agreement will be registered with the Native Court in Penampang and that both parties have agreed not to challenge the terms of the agreement in any existing courts in Sabah.


“On behalf of KDCA and all the associations affiliated with us, we have agreed not to pursue the court action against Joseph, and we consider this matter to be closed. Therefore, we are asking the whole Kadazandusun community to bury the hatchet and do what we have always done, which is to promote peace and reconciliation,” he said.