New Sabah Times, Photo Credit to
clock 21-12-2017
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Proposal to Gazette Historical Grave Site

A proposal will be made to gazette the Silar Pinikit grave site at Salangit Rundum in Kemabong to the relevant authorities to preserve its history.

The proposal will be submitted by Persatuan Keluarga Keturunan Pahlawan Ontoros Antenom (PUSAKA, an association of descendants Ontorus Antenom, a Murut warrior), said Assistant Minister to the Chief Minister Datuk Ellron Alfred Angin.

Speaking at the launching of a book on Ontoros Antenom here recently, Ellron said the late Ontoros Antenom is a revered hero of the Murut people of Sabah's interior. He was known to be a key figure in the so-called Rundum Rebellion where Murut natives resisted British colonialists for imposing taxes and enforcing labour.

The book, in Malay, is titled ‘Antenom Pahlawan Terbilang Bangsa Murut'. The grave site is in a dilapidated state.

Ellron, a Murut himself said declaring the grave a heritage site not only honours a Murut folk hero and his men but also preserves a piece of Sabah's rich history.

Antenom's heroics occurred in the 20th century. He has since been posthumously bestowed the state's highest civilian honour, the Datuk Seri Panglima.

Ellron, who is the State Assemblyman for Sook, said the site could potentially draw tourists to the area, adds a new dimension to rural tourism in Sabah and add to socio-economic activities of the people.

Meanwhile, Sabah Museum director Mansur Haji Asun said he would be sending a team to the grave site to examine any recorded history on it.

"The descendants of Antenom have a desire for the gravesite to be made a heritage site. We will make the recommendation after our visits.”

Mansur said the Museum will also be surveying the old train station at Melalap, near Tenom and the carved stone called Lumuyu at Kg Bakuku in Ulu Tomani, which have also been recommended to be gazetted as heritage sites.

The book on Antenom was hailed by his descendants as an important record of the exploits of the revered man. Marutin Ansiung, one of the descendants and a reporter of New Sabah Times, welcomed the book's publication which will enable non-Murut communities to learn about its history.

Another descendant Monica binti Damong said the book will perpetuate the history and the contribution of Antenom and his followers.

The 148-page book is divided into nine chapters and is written by Dr Dayu Sansalu who teaches at Universiti Malaysia Sabah.

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