KOTA KINABALU: An NGO fighting for indigenous rights in Sabah is up in arms over a local online portal report that it claims has cast a bad light on the Murut community in the state.
Pertubuhan Mamagun Sabah (Mamagun) said the portal, Sabahkini2.com, had recently linked the Murut community with black magic practices, thus creating a negative perception among the public.
Mamagun president Rudy Sulaiman said the report, published on Sept 4, has gone viral. The portal claimed that Infrastructure Development Minister Peter Anthony had avoided returning to Melalap ever since he won the state seat in the last general election due to fears of “lontong”.
According to the report, “lontong” is a form of black magic that can cause its intended target or victim to have a sudden unnatural bloated stomach.
Melalap is within the interior Tenom parliamentary constituency, which is home to a majority of Sabah’s Murut population.
Rudy described the report as slanderous. He said it was made with malice and with the intention of shaming the Murut community as a whole.
“Stories on black magic, or lontong, are old tales and are now no more.
“So why then do you need to play them up?” he said, adding that the Murut community, like others, had also moved with the times and embraced modernity.
“The Murut community is extremely offended by the Sabahkini2.com report.
“Mamagun calls on the portal not to link the community with nonsensical issues in order to criticise the state assemblyman,” he said in Tenom today.
He said Mamagun will make a formal police complaint to demand that the portal issue a public apology to the Murut community.