Joseph Kurup: Oath Stone to be relocated

KOTA KINABALU: The Oath Stone in the Keningau district here, which bears the bill of guarantees assuring Sabahans of their rights will be relocated, and have the three missing words Kerajaan Malaysia Jamin (The Government of Malaysia guarantees) reinstated. 

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup said on Friday that the move to relocate was decided by the committee in charge of restoring the oath stone.

“The Oath Stone will be placed in front of the Land and Survey Department in the Keningau district while the three crucial missing words Kerajaan Malaysia Jamin will be reinstated as soon as possible,” he said at a press conference at the state museum here. 

Kurup said it was important that the oath stone had its original wordings reinstated because the stone was erected following Sabah’s agreement to form the federation of Malaysia. 

The Batu Sumpah or Oath Stone was erected in the interior of Keningau on Aug 31, 1964 during a ceremony witnessed by federal and state leaders. 

It served to assure Sabahans that their rights to religious freedom, land, culture and customs were guaranteed.

It is not known exactly when the inscription was changed, but some say that it could have happened when the stone was moved to make way for a road project in 1978, or even more recently. 

According to Kurup, the change could have happened due to negligence of the original carver, and that the Government never intended to “erase” the words from the plaque.