Sabah's 'giant killer' Kadoh passes away

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Kadoh Agundong (pic), who earned the moniker “giant killer” when he unseated the then powerful chief minister Tan Sri Harris Salleh of Berjaya in 1985, has passed away.

He was 73.

Kadoh, who had been bedridden since October last year, breathed his last early Thursday (June 30) from health complications at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital here, according to family members.

His body has been placed at the Fook Lu Siew funeral parlour and will be taken to his hometown of Kg Pulong in Tenom at 3pm.

The 1985 state election saw Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), led by Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan stunned the nation when it toppled the nine-year-old Berjaya government with Harris becoming the biggest political casualty of the elections.

Kadoh, an ethnic Murut, was subsequently appointed Youth and Sports minister by Pairin in his cabinet and continued to remain in the party and government till PBS lost the government in 1994.

A close political friend, Datuk James Ligunjang said that Kadoh would always be etched in political history as the man who defeated Harris for the Tenom seat.

"He was part of a major historical political change in Sabah in 1985.

"The odds were against Kadoh, no one expected him to defeat Harris in that election but he did it," said Ligunjang, adding that Kadoh was Harris’ community development officer in Tenom before deciding to contest against him.

"We all remember him as a simple man and very friendly to everyone. He was friendly to everyone irrespective of their political ideologies," he added.

PBS vice-president Datuk Johnny Mositun said Kadoh would always be remembered by Sabahans as the "giant killer."

Former civil servant Datuk Wilfred Lingham, who served as permanent secretary at the state ministry of youth, said Kadoh was always a "jolly" person and he had little problems working closely.

He said Kadoh listened to his advice as he (Kadoh) was not familiar with the administration of government in his earlier days.

“The only issues came from his supporters from Tenom who billed their food and beverage at hotels under the ministry which were not allowed.

"After I explained to Kadoh, he stopped it and also paid off the bills by his supporters," said Lingham.

Following the fall of the PBS government in 1994, Kadoh had joined several parties and in 2019 became a member of Parti Warisan.

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