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Relocation almost didn't happen
Published on: Tuesday, September 11, 2018

THE Batu Sumpah at the compound of the Keningau Secretariat Building compound was relocated to a new site at the Keningau Heritage Museum compound on Sunday morning.

But the process faced unexplained "obstructions" the day earlier that resulted in an eight-hour delay and necessitated the intervention of Bobolian (shaman) Muri Gulim on Saturday afternoon. The initial schedule for extracting the Batu Sumpah was at 9am on Saturday but the binding cable failed three times. Only at 3pm was it successfully removed and raised onto the lorry.

But as soon as Batu Sumpah on the lorry, heavy rainfall with strong winds lashed the district for about 30 minutes. Nevertheless, it was done with the necessary Adat (customs) observed.

It was removed from its original place using a crane and placed on a 10-tonne lorry at about 3pm, paraded by about 1,000 people in traditional dress representing their respective ethnics to the new place of about 500 meters away. The procession led by Gulim.

As soon as the Batu Sumpah arrival at the Keningau Heritage Museum compound, national and state anthem, Negaraku and Sabah Tanah Airku was played and sung by all present followed by the lowering of the stone from the lorry.

As soon as Batu Sumpah was placed at around 10.30am on Sunday, the Monongolig Ceremony was held by Gulim and his assistant, Native Chief Representative, Joseph Mitah.

Seven buffaloes, seven pigs and seven white chickens were sacrificed and the animal heads were buried next to the Batu Sumpah while the hearts of the animals were buried within the Batu Sumpah.

After the Monongolig was over, the gong group from the Kujau community of Kg Bandukan took over.

Among the leaders and heads of departments present were Raymond Ahuar representing Deputy Chief Minister and Ministry of Tourism Culture and Environment, Christina Liew, Assistant Minister of Law and Native Affairs Jennie Lasimbang, Assistant Minister of Rural Development Rasinin Koutis, State Museum Director Mansur Haji Asun, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment, Mariam Omar Matusin, District Officer Yusop Osman, District Chief, OKK Mohd Amir Datuk Arif, Sedomon family members, custom leaders, government political leaders, State and Federal Government officials and communities from Keningau, Tenom, Tambunan, Nabawan.

Yusop said Sept. 9 was specifically chosen for the relocation. "The previous government approved an allocation of about RM2 million to beautify this new area and so that those visiting will be able to read the history about the creation of Batu Sumpah," he said.- Johan Aziz


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