Hold Ethnic Language Month to Promote Sabah’s Native Languages, Says Pairin
KOTA KINABALU: A month of ethnic languages has been proposed as a way to promote and preserve the indigenous languages of Sabah.
“We have so many dialects, local languages of many ethnic groups, we should (dedicate) a month to commemorate our various groups among ourselves,” said Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, the Huguan Siou (paramount chief) of Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM).
“I think we all want to see our mother tongues promoted.
“I therefore suggest (that we) choose a month of promotion and development of Sabah’s mother tongues, because it will benefit us … the more knowledge (of languages) we have, the better,” he said during of startup. of the month-long Kaamatan Harvest Festival celebration at the Keningau Craft Center on Sunday 1 May.
The event was launched by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and was also attended by former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
Pairin also praised the state government for its support of Kaamatan as a unity program aimed at fostering ties among the diverse communities in Sabah.
The former MP for Keningau has also revived an old proposal for a cultural village project in the district.
“I believe that the district office has land that could be used for this purpose. This project could also create many job opportunities.
“We could take an example from Sarawak, so hopefully that suggestion will be taken positively,” Pairin added.
Both suggestions were backed by Deputy Chief Minister and Chairman of Kaamatan Main Committee at the state level, Datuk Seri, Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan.
Jeffrey, the current MP for Keningau, said a permanent structure in the district to host festivals such as Kaamatan was something to look forward to.
In his speech, he highlighted the uniqueness of Sabah’s bumiputra who get to know each other’s culture and customs.
“Cultural heritage is very important for an ethnic group, if they lost it, they would lose the identity of the group. That’s why the younger generation must get to know their own culture,” he added.
Jeffrey, who is minister of agriculture and fisheries, said the government also plans to develop the inland district as a food and fruit valley, equipped with a collection, processing and marketing.
“This is based on Keningau’s potential and space as a natural and agricultural tourism destination,” he added.