KOTA KINABALU: The lawyer who allegedly made derogatory remarks about the Unduk Ngadau cultural pageant should be taken to task for his comments, says the Kadazan Society Sabah.
Its secretary-general Batholomew Jingulam said the Native Court, which has expertise in these matters, should find ways to reprimand Marcel Jude Joseph if he had committed an offence under native laws.
He said the lawyer should also be sentenced according to native laws if found guilty of an offence.
Marcel is said to have tarnished the image of the pageant, calling it among other things "an exotic cattle show".
Marcel, however, has maintained that those words were never uttered in open court during the hearing at the Magistrate’s Court here last week.
Among those who have called for action against him is Huguan Siou (paramount leader) of the Kadazandusun Muruts in Sabah, Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
Marcel had allegedly made the statements in bail submission for his client Phillip Among, a Sabah STAR politician who is charged with molesting two women, including an Unduk Ngadau contestant.
“If that was indeed stated then it is derogatory and shameful not only to the contestants and organisers but also to the Kadazan, Dusun, Rungus and Murut communities as a whole,” Jingulam said.
He said considering the sensitivity of the matter, it should not have been uttered in the first place as it had nothing to do with the bail application.
“It is irrelevant in a bail application and totally uncalled for,” he said.
Jingulam, who is also a lawyer, hoped the police would conduct a thorough investigation of all the reports lodged pertaining to the matter.
The Native Court in Sabah hears cases concerning native customary rights and related matters.
Since Marcel had allegedly spoken ill of the Unduk Ngadau pageant, which is a huge part of Sabah natives’ beliefs and culture, and touched on their customs, it is generally held that the Native Court has jurisdiction to hear the case.