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  • Wartawan Nabalu News

PHILLIP AMONG'S LAWYER UNDER FIRE FOR DEMEANING UNDUK NGADAU TRADITION


Marcel Jude and the first page of his statement.

12 June 2021

By Wartawan Nabalu News


KOTA KINABALU: The lawyer of politician Phillip Among who was accused of committing sexual against an Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan (UNK) participant came under fire when his court submission statement went viral on Twitter last night.


On Thursday, Phillip Among denied five charges of outraging the modesty of two women at the Magistrate's court.


In his statement, Counsel Marcel Jude regarded the UNK contest as "a project of vanity and the essence of body shaming" and "nothing more than an exotic cattle show and almost feel like an auction show".


"There is nothing outstanding about these women and there are more (outstanding) women outside but they don't get to be the contestants.


"The UNK is a throwback to a former period where women are only objects of desire to be paraded around in an extravagant pet show," his statement read.


The statement was uploaded last night by Phillip Among's former employee Dane Kovacs who goes by the moniker "Orang Putih Kita" on his Facebook and has been shared more than 1,000 times.


Most of those who have sighted the statement were enraged over Marcel's remark which they deemed very insulting towards the Kadazandusun's tradition.

Shireen Sikayun

The President of Pusat Sumber Adat Dan Mediasi Kaum Anak Negeri Sabah who slammed the counsel for his statement regarded it as outrageous, demeaning and wholly insensitive.


Shireen Sikayun demanded the President of Parti Star Sabah (STAR) Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan and relevant authorities to take action on the matter.


"In our multiracial community, one ought to be sensitive to the feelings of other communities. For a person who was born and brought up in Sabah, the statements made were outrageous, demeaning and wholly insensitive to the feelings of the orang asal with whom he would have had frequent interactions as a local himself.


"I call upon the President of STAR and the relevant authorities to take action against him including a charge for conduct unbecoming of a lawyer unless he apologises immediately," she said in her Facebook posting.


She also recommended a legal firm to the UNK contestants who were aggrieved by the statement and in need of legal advice on which she will give on a pro bono basis.

Joanna Datuk Kitingan

Meanwhile, Chairperson of Unduk Ngadau Borderless Kaamatan Joanna Datuk Kitingan has demanded Marcel to withdraw his statement and apologise to the Unduk Ngadau participants and the KDMR (Kadazandusun Murut Rungus) people as a whole.


"What Marcel Jude said in his submission statement is totally demeaning, derogatory, defaming and insensitive about our KDMR culture. The Unduk Ngadau Kaamatan has never emphasised body proportions as he mentioned.


"He is just diverting from the real issue at hand and trying to find fault with the Unduk Ngadau and the organising committee and the KDMR community as a whole," she said.


"While Marcel's client is entitled to a fair trial, the UNK rejects all forms of sexual harassment, exploitation and violence against women and that such behaviour has no place in KDMR culture," she added.


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