Tangau (center) with presenters and participants of the symposium
By: Nio James.
KOTA KINABALU: Deputy Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau said, the symposium on the Origins Of The Indigenous People Of Sabah with the theme of Indigenous Languages and focuses on the current situation of indigenous languages around the world should also focus on other related issues.
However, he said other aspects of life such as cultural and racial identity are equally important to be explored and discussed, particularly in the seemingly borderless world of today where the ‘lines on the sand’ or geographical boundaries have become blurred and the movement of goods, services , technology, information, capital flow and even people from one nation to another is becoming increasingly fluid.
He said, human migration is the movement of people from one place to another, particularly different countries, with the intention of settling temporarily in the host country would invariably bring about various impacts on the local scene.
“In the long-run, large-scale migrations will weaken the home country by decreasing or changing the make-up of its population, and maybe taking over businesses and job opportunities.
A worst-case scenario would be the newcomers becoming new citizens who are eventually recognized as indigenous people and equally privy to the rights of the ‘original indigenous people of the host country,” he said.
He said this when officiating the Symposium On The Origins of The Indigenous People of Sabah 2019, at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) in Kota Kinabalu today.
The Symposium is held in conjunction with the commemoration of the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People which is celebrated around the world and marks the date of the inaugural session of the Working Group on Indigenous Population at the United Nations in 1982.
The Sabah Minister of Trade and Industry said, the cultural, heritage and socio-economic impacts of migration are worrying, especially to the future existence and survival of the indigenous people in that particular host country.
He said, understanding our genesis, heritage and culture enables us to address some of the impacts of migration on the indigenous people.
“I understand this symposium has brought renowned experts in the field of genetics, archeology, language and culture,” he added.
Tangau said, on behalf of the Sabah State Government, he welcome the speakers to the Land Below the Wind, especially to Professor Dr Stephen Oppenheimer, who came all the way from the United Kingdom to share his expert opinion and research findings on pre-historic human migration in his Keynote Address.
“With this multidisciplinary approach, I believe and am confident that this symposium will be a veritable source of knowledge, awareness and understanding on the origins of the Indigenous People of Sabah.
Let us be open to new forms of knowledge and learning for it is only when we are well-equipped intellectually and emotionally that we become strong and progressive,” he said.
Tangau congratulate UMS and in particular the Kadazan-Dusun Chair and its organizing committee for their effort and commitment towards the realization of this momentous symposium, and wish this symposium a great success.
The Symposium was also attended by Associate Prof. Ts Dr Ramzah Dambul, Deputy Vice Chanselor Research and Innovation UMS (representing Vice Canselor UMS, Prof. Datuk ChM. Dr Yap Yun Hin) and the Kadazan-Dusun Chair Holder, Associate Professor Dr. Andreas Totu.