Datuk Marcel Leiking’s Pure Kadazans

In response to Datuk Marcel Leiking’s statement:

Race, as are many “pigeon holes” that we people are wont to ascribe to human beings, is a slippery slope to navigate on.

More so when the concept of pureness, or more specifically the qualification to attain such ideals will draw as many opponents as supporters. When dealing with people, there is no absolute metric to measure and to qualify people. Such is life; the only absolute labels are the elements in the Periodic Table. If today the Kadazan Society Sabah draws up a qualification list as to who can be accepted as a Kadazan, I am willing to bet that there will be as many likes or dislikes.

Perhaps the way to think about this is that this is not about “pureness” but rather that it is an individual’s choice to accept the ways, mores, culture, thinking, etc., on what is to be a Kadazan, and affirm that he/she is so, and acts so. Even so, there are no absolutes here, unless we draw up a DNA qualifying standard such that so and so’s genome qualifies as Kadazan based on an accepted reference ideal.

I know for a fact, for example in Penampang, many of my friends are second or third generation of Chinese lineage. Many are also are the grand and great grand kids of the Shantungs of Donggongon. My own late grand father on the maternal side, who had a house just across the road from the late Datuk Fred Jinu’s house in Tunon, had a full Chinese name with the siang “Ho”. My Tunon uncles and aunties, and their children, do not consider themselves as lesser Kadazans too. I have friends who are Muslims and happy, nay, proud, to think themselves as Kadazans. I have Penampang and Papar acquaintances who do not look like the typical Kadazan (if there is such thing as a typical Kadazan look) because of their part-orang putih heritage. Gundohing Joseph Pairin and Gundohing Donald Mojuntin are examples of having children that, on a pure genetic measure, will not qualify as Kadazan. I am quite certain though that their boys and girls are happy to be called as from the Kadazan race because that are their choices.

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