KOTA KINABALU: The Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) has demanded apologies from the Ranau PKR division and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over the conferment of the "Huguan Siou" title to the PKR adviser.
Its secretary-general Suman Yasambun said the Huguan Siou or paramount chief title was exclusively reserved for a Kadazandusun Murut leader, and culturally inappropriate and illegal to be bestowed on a non-Kadazandusun Murut.
"It has insulted and hurt the feelings of the Kadazandusun community. In fact, it is an act that will bring the curse upon a person or persons who usurp the leadership structure within the Kadazandusun community, especially in relation to the institution of Huguan Siou," he said in a statement Wednesday.
Anwar drew flak when he accepted the title bestowed on him by Ranau PKR head Jonathan Yasin on Sunday.
Suman said "Huguan Siou" was an institution that embodied the community's spirit of unity, courage and self-determination.
"He is the guardian of the Kadazandusun Murut customs, norms, artefacts and traditions which were celebrated every year through the Kaamatan festival," he said.
State Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister Datuk Masidi Manjun said the title was sacred to the Kadazadusun Murut community and should only bestowed on those from the community.
He said the person who bestowed the title was probably trying to gain political mileage and it was unbecoming of Anwar to accept it for he had been in politics and government for years.
Masidi said any action deemed to belittle the Huguan Siou institution would undermine Sabah's cultural heritage and that political agenda should not override the interests of Sabahans.
United Sabah Bajau Organisation president Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said the "Huguan Siou" saga showed that Anwar was ignorant of the cultures of the various ethnic groups in Sabah in his quest for power.
"He has insulted Sabahans. How do we expect Sabahans to trust him?" he said.
Liberal Democratic Party president Datuk V.K. Liew said there was only one "Huguan Siou" in Sabah, namely Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan. - Bernama