KOTA KINABALU: A retired politician, lawyers, civil servants and businessmen are among prominent members of Sabah’s Kadazans who have set up a society to help in the development of the state’s second largest indigenous community.
Headed by former state Assistant Minister Marcel Leiking, the Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) was set up to, among others, encourage members of the community to involve themselves in business and economic activities.
“We are here to foster a closer relationship among Kadazans while cooperating with other communal associations in Sabah,” said Leiking following the inauguration of the society over the weekend.
He said the society would also help preserve Kadazan traditions, customs and language apart from their craft, artand music.
Established on May 19 last year, Leiking said KSS would also be looking into the problems faced by Kadazan children, mainly in Sabah’s remote areas, who did not possess birth certificates.
“We have set up six branches and the respective chairpersons will go to the field to assess the problems faced by these children.”
Stressing that KSS had no political affiliations, he said its membership was open to all Kadazans who collectively make up about a quarter of Sabah’s 2.3mil population.
He said membership was also open to offspring of mixed marriages who have a parent, grandparent or ancestor who was a Kadazan.
“The definition of Kadazan in our constitution is very broad,” Leiking added.
He said the society currently had about 100 life members and 500 ordinary members.
“We are not in a hurry to build up our membership base as our mission is a long term one.”