Di sebalik tabir perkahwinan kanak-kanak

Aktivis sambut baik perubahan yang berlaku dalam isu perkahwinan bawah umur, namun masih banyak perlu dilaksanakan demi mengubah adat yang sudah lama diwarisi.

Perkahwinan di bawah umur menjadi adat sebahagian masyarakat di Malaysia. Gambar: AP

Para aktivis yang giat menyedarkan orang ramai mengenai isu perkahwinan kanak-kanak berkata masih banyak yang perlu diusahakan di lapangan supaya adat kebiasaan dalam masyarakat dapat diubah selepas sekian lama menganggap ia sebagai sebuah amalan turun-temurun.

Mereka turut berkata perjuangan mengenai perkara ini masih belum selesai, walaupun perubahan kecil-kecilan dilihat berlaku dalam kalangan masyarakat.

Anne Lasimbang adalah pengasas Pacos Trust, sebuah badan bukan kerajaan (NGO) bagi membantu penduduk asal di Sabah.

Beliau memberitahu MalaysiaNow dalam masyarakat peribumi di Sabah, perkahwinan antara dua kanak-kanak kadang-kadang diatur sebelum mereka dilahirkan.

Dalam kes sedemikian, keluarga sepakat untuk menjodohkan anak-anak mereka untuk menjaga hubungan baik sesama mereka.

Adat biasa yang lazim berlaku di Sabah adalah berkenaan kanak-kanak perempuan yang hamil di luar nikah.

Demi mengelak rasa malu atau kecaman masyarakat kerana melahirkan anak tanpa bapa, mereka yang masih di bawah umur dipaksa berkahwin dengan lelaki yang menyebabkan kehamilan mereka.

“Sesetengah kanak-kanak perempuan diambil kesempatan oleh lelaki dewasa yang menyebabkan mereka hamil,” kata Lasimbang.

Apabila hal ini berlaku, mangsa sering dipaksa untuk berkahwin walaupun masih di bawah umur.

Namun kini, penduduk asal lebih terbuka bagi berbincang soal perkahwinan di bawah umur, kata Lasimbang.

Lasimbang berkata kesedaran mereka semakin meningkat kesan daripada laporan media yang menjelaskan kesan negatif perkahwinan kanak-kanak.

Bagaimanapun, kerja-kerja menyedarkan orang ramai masih perlu dilakukan dan bahkan dalam beberapa kes, penyelesaian mengenainya sangat sukar.

Contohnya, wujud keluarga yang mengahwinkan anak-anak mereka sebagai jalan keluar daripada kemiskinan, hal ini adalah tajuk yang berulang dalam masyarakat peribumi Sabah.

“Masih banyak kerja perlu dibuat untuk tingkatkan ekonomi masyarakat peribumi,” kata Lasimbang merujuk program-program pendidikan dan kesedaran mengenai isu itu.

Selain itu, isu lain tentang perkahwinan bawah umur ialah penyelarasan had umur perkahwinan.

Di bawah undang-undang adat peribumi bukan Islam, tidak ada batasan umur untuk seseorang itu berkahwin.

Lasimbang berkata organisasinya masih berusaha untuk mengubah adat itu bagi menjadikan usia minimum perkahwinan adalah 18 tahun.

Bagi mencapai sasaran tersebut, mereka turut mendekati golongan ibu bapa mengenai usia perkahwinan yang sah dan kepentingan pendidikan bagi kanak-kanak di sekolah.

“Jika anak perempuan mereka hamil, mereka sepatutnya tak perlu risau tentang nama keluarga si anak.

“Mereka boleh daftar bayi itu dilahirkan oleh ibu tunggal atau serahkan anak mereka kepada ibu bapa yang mahukan anak angkat sebagai satu cara lain. Mereka tidak perlu dikahwinkan.”

Thammy Chong, pesuruhjaya antarabangsa di Girl Guides Association Malaysia, turut bersetuju sudah ada sedikit kemajuan selepas bertahun-tahun berusaha untuk mengubah adat kebiasaan masyarakat berhubung perkahwinan kanak-kanak.

Namun, katanya, adat-adat kebiasaan itu masih dipertahankan kerana kurang kefahaman dan kemudian diparahkan lagi dengan perundangan yang lemah dan kepercayaan karut.

“Ramai orang masih percaya perkahwinan kanak-kanak hanya terjadi dalam kaum atau komuniti tertentu, dan ia terjadi ketika seorang gadis di bawah umur dinikahkan dengan lelaki yang jauh lebih tua.”

Namun hakikatnya, perkahwinan kanak-kanak biasanya berlaku antara dua mempelai bawah umur, kadang-kadang kerana cinta atau hamil di luar nikah.

“Saya tak fikir remaja tahu di mana dia nak minta tolong jika terpaksa berkahwin pada usia muda,” katanya.

“Kalaupun mereka ke balai polis, pegawai mungkin beritahu mereka ia adalah urusan keluarga dan minta mereka pulang.”

Menurut Chong lagi, sekolah dan kumpulan pendidikan tidak formal mempunyai peranan penting dalam mendidik dan mengubah pemikiran masyarakat.

“Organisasi pembimbing seperti Pandu Puteri dan Pengakap mendorong pendidikan rakan sebaya di mana kanak-kanak belajar untuk mendengar dan menjaga satu sama lain. Itu adalah salah satu kaedah terbaik untuk sokong mereka,” katanya kepada MalaysiaNow

Chong turut menggesa NGO yang lain serta kumpulan masyarakat sivil di Malaysia bersatu dan bekerjasama bagi menoktahkan perkahwinan bawah umur di Malaysia.

Chong berkata banyak pihak yang bekerja untuk tujuan itu secara bersendirian.

“Kita perlu bincang lebih banyak dengan pihak berkuasa supaya mereka membuat tindakan susulan mengenai proses perubahan undang-undang, dan menuntut kerajaan melakukan perubahan berdasarkan suara dan fakta dari akar umbi masyarakat.”

Sumber daripada: https://www.malaysianow.com/berita/2021/03/27/di-sebalik-tabir-perkahwinan-kanak-kanak/

Behind the veil of child marriage

Activists welcome the change over the years but say more groundwork is needed to dislodge long-held social norms.

A child helps her parents work on a palm oil plantation in Sabah, Dec 10, 2018. Poverty is one of many reasons why child marriage persists in some segments of society, activists say. Photo: AP

Activists working for change in the issue of child marriage in the country say more needs to be done on the ground in order to effect any lasting transformation as social norms entrenched in communities play a major role in perpetuating the practice.

While change is slowly taking place in some pockets of society, they say the journey is far from over.

Anne Lasimbang is the founder and executive director of Pacos Trust, a community-based NGO which supports indigenous people in Sabah.

She told MalaysiaNow that within indigenous groups, marriage between two children is sometimes arranged even before they are born. In these cases, families come to mutual agreements to betroth their children, usually in order to maintain good ties.

Another norm prevalent in Sabah is seen when girls get pregnant out of wedlock. They are then forced to marry the men who impregnated them to avoid shame or the social censure of giving birth to a child without a father.

“Some girls are also taken advantage of by experienced men who get them pregnant,” Lasimbang said.

When this happens, they are often forced into marriage even if they are underage.

Yet families from indigenous communities are more open to discussing child marriage than they used to be, Lasimbang said.

She said awareness and sensitivity among these groups has increased thanks to media reports over the years, highlighting the negative impact of child marriage.

Still, work needs to be done and in some cases the mountains are hard to scale.

For example, families may resort to child marriage as a way out of poverty – a recurrent theme in the lives of many in indigenous communities.

“There is still a lot of work needed to uplift the situation of poverty among indigenous communities,” Lasimbang said, referring to education and awareness programmes.

Another issue is the lack of a standardised minimum age for marriage.

Under customary laws for non-Muslim indigenous people, there is no age limit for marriage.

Lasimbang said her organisation is working to change native customary laws to make 18 the minimum age for marriage. To achieve this, they talk to parents about the legal age of marriage and the importance of education and keeping their children in school.

“If their daughter gets pregnant, they don’t have to worry about the child’s surname. They can register the baby as a single mum or have adoption as an option. They don’t have to marry them off.”

Thammy Chong, international commissioner at the Girl Guides Association Malaysia, agreed that there had been progress over the years in terms of changing the social norms surrounding child marriage.

However, she said these norms are still bolstered by a lack of understanding and support as well as weak legislation and mistaken beliefs.

“Many people still believe child marriage only happens in a certain race or community, and that it happens when an underage girl is married to an older man.”

But in many cases, she said, both the bride and groom are children, sometimes because of puppy love affairs and teenage pregnancies.

“I don’t think teenagers know where to seek help if they are forced to be married at a young age,” she said.

“Even if they ran to the police station, the officer might tell them that it’s a family affair and ask them to go home.”

She said schools and non-formal education groups have an important role to play in educating and changing mindsets.

“Guiding organisations like Girl Guides and Scouts encourage peer education where children learn, listen and take care of each other. That’s one of the best ways to support them,” she told MalaysiaNow

Chong also urged other NGOs and civil society groups in Malaysia to come together and work collectively to end child marriage, saying many are currently working in silos.

“We need more conversations with the authorities to follow up on the law-changing process, to demand that the government make changes with the voices and facts from the ground.”

A novel way to reignite children’s interest in traditional food and language

In their community learning centres, children are taught the alphabet with words and pictures of ingredients used to make traditional dishes. Photos: Pacos Trust

Anne Lasimbang, founder and executive director of Pacos Trust, is a firm believer that language, food and culture are intertwined. This is the driving force behind some of the organisation’s efforts in promoting the usage of indigenous languages in daily life.

In their community learning centres, children are taught the alphabet with words and pictures of ingredients used to make traditional dishes.

And on the Kivatu Nature Farm – which shares the same space as Pacos Trust’s headquarters in Penampang in Kota Kinabalu – they can grow their own food and learn how to make traditional dishes with the vegetables and fruits they harvest.

The organisation has also produced recipe books, in an effort to revive interest and share knowledge of traditional food, its ingredients and preparation.

No doubt, this is an ongoing task, one that Lasimbang concurs as being rather challenging at times.

Like in many places around the world, many aspects of traditional culture and know-how are slowly being forgotten as they are discarded in favour of modern inventions and sensibilities.

“The influence of globalisation is very strong and many non-traditional activities are considered more ‘cool’ and interesting. Our younger generations today are more exposed to fast food and bubble tea than generations before. Additionally, traditional knowledge is not recognised as something important in the formal education system; instead, it is looked down upon and considered ‘backward’,” she says.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, as Pacos Trust is keen to show.

Takanon Koubasanan Tinaru’ Kadazandusun (Kadazandusun Traditional Food) is a recipe book for children, written by teachers from Pacos Trust’s community learning centres.

For instance, the Kivatu Nature Farm is part of the organisation’s efforts to work with communities to promote healthy eating and sustainable farming. The vegetables grown on this farm – including tapioca and yam – are those that are grown in the villages or can be found in the forests, and are used in the preparation of a variety of traditional dishes.

“In this model farm, we share knowledge on how to produce organic compost, organic fertilisers, natural insect repellants as well as seeds and plants exchange. We want to encourage small backyard farming among families in villages to support their food needs,” says Lasimbang.

She adds that they also organise activities with the youths in the community, to get them interested in traditional food – like experimenting with new flavours in traditional dishes, or other ways to innovate traditional recipes.

Starting them young

There are community projects initiated by Pacos Trust where traditional dishes or the ingredients required for these recipes, are incorporated into language lessons for children.

In these lessons at the community learning centres, ‘S’ is for ‘sada’ (fish), which in turn leads to a discussion on ‘nomson sada’, a traditional recipe for pickled fish; and the habitat and life cycle of the fish.

“Another ingredient in the recipe for making ‘nonsom sada’ is ‘pangi’, which is a seed from a tree. Using pangi as a natural preservative is traditional knowledge among the Kadazan community. So besides basic literacy goals, the teacher can teach how pangi seeds can be collected and used as a preservative,” says Lasimbang.

She adds that they also organise activities with the youths in the community, to get them interested in traditional food – like experimenting with new flavours in traditional dishes, or other ways to innovate traditional recipes.

She shares that the community learning centre teachers have noted that this approach to learning language seems to work well as the children find it more relatable and fun when they can draw on familiar experiences.

“They find that the children learn faster, ask more questions and engage in a conversation for a longer time,” she says.

Acknowledging the importance of effective teaching material, the Kipouvo community learning centre – located around 30km from the city centre of Kota Kinabalu – has produced a recipe book for children, titled ‘Takanon Koubasanan Tinaru’ Kadazandusun (Kadazandusun Traditional Food).

The book features five traditional recipes, namely, hinompuka’ mundok (steamed tapioca wrapped in banana leaves), nonsom bambangan (pickled bambangan), nonsom sada (pickled fish), tinanok guol (boiled yam) and inapa’ tunduk mundok (stir-fried tapioca leaves).

It is written for children aged five and six years old in mind, but it can also be used for older children and youths.

“The book is an initiative to highlight the cultural identity markers of the Kadazandusun group in Kipouvo village. We hope that it will help to spark conversation on cultural and language preservation, and develop into other learning and values such as conservation of the environment, food security, nutrition and health. We also hope that many more communities will be able to produce similar books for children and that the knowledge can be passed down to the next generation,” says Lasimbang.

By ROUWEN LINhttps://www.thestar.com.my/lifestyle/family/2021/03/03/a-novel-way-to-reignite-children039s-interest-in-traditional-food-and-language?fbclid=IwAR1Gqdji4d-IHeHOvRG4YeLAlesWOUfqWopUZlyC3xQkGRVzNJtiwpxZxHc

Hari Graduasi 11 pelajar Orang Asal

Gambar para graduaan yang telah berjaya menamatkan pengajian

Pada 30 Januari 2021, 11 orang pelajar Orang Asal telah berjaya menamatkan pengajian program 2 tahun mereka di Guwas Koposizon College (GKC) School for Experiential and Entrepreneurship Development Sabah (SEEDS) yang telah dikendalikan oleh PACOS Trust.

Majlis graduasi tersebut telah berlangsung pada 30 Januari 2021 secara alam maya menerusi platform Zoom kerana kita masih lagi dalam Perintah Kawalan Pergerakan (MCO) yang telah menghadkan perjumpaan sosial bagi membendung penularan wabak Covid-19 semakin meningkat.

Kebanyakan program latihan vokasional dan keusahawanan yang terdapat di Malaysia hanya melatih kemahiran pelajar untuk mendapatkan pekerjaan di kawasan bandar berbeza dengan program pengajian ini, ia dirancang untuk melengkapkan para graduan dengan kemahiran yang dapat mereka terapkan di kampung halaman mereka. Tujuannya adalah untuk membantu masyarakat setempat mereka maju dengan memastikan keselamatan makanan dan meneroka peluang ekonomi dalam komuniti.

Dalam kalangan 11 pelajar Orang Asal,  7 pelajar adalah Orang Asli Temiar dari Gerik, Perak dan selebihnya adalah Orang Asal Sabah. Mereka berumur antara 16 hingga ke 25 tahun. Kebanyakan mereka Orang Asli Temiar pada dua tahun yang lalu, ini adalah kali pertama mereka keluar dari kampung dan kali pertama menaiki kapal terbang.

Fokus program ini lebih kepada pembinaan kemahiran asas dalam pertanian organik dan keusahawanan teknologi makanan, kecekapan berbahasa Inggeris, kemahiran komunikasi, pembinaan watak serta menyediakan latihan di tempat kerja dan menjadi pelatih.

Bantuan Covid-19

PACOS Trust ingin mengucapkan jutaan terima kasih yang tidak terhingga kepada semua yang menderma dan juga yang terlibat dalam pengurusan pemberian bantuan kepada mereka yang memerlukan. Kesemua pemberian daripada semua amat kami hargai tidak kira pemberian tersebut besar ataupun kecil. Terima kasih sekali lagi, semoga kalian semua diberkati.


Di bawah adalah lampiran laporan bantuan covid-19 yang telah dijalankan.

Kempen Tiada.Guru – “Pelajar boleh saman guru jika hak asasi mendapatkan pendidikan dicabul”

30 Januari 2020

Kempen Tiada.Guru ialah kempen akar umbi dengan objektif untuk mengakhiri budaya “jaga aib” atau “tutup malu” yang menyumbangkan kepada rasuah dan penyalahgunaan kuasa dalam pendidikan selama berdekad. Dengan slogan “Malaysia bangkit untuk pendidikan bersih”, Tiada.Guru ingin memperkasakan komuniti untuk mempertahankan hak mereka kepdada pendidikan berkualiti. Tiada lagi ketakutan. Tiada lagi berdiam.

PETALING JAYA: Seorang bekas peguam berkata tidak salah pelajar menyaman guru mereka sekiranya hak asasi mereka untuk mendapatkan pendidikan telah dicabul.

Menurut Firdaus Husni kanak-kanak di negara ini mempunyai hak asasi mereka yang berhak dipertahankan. “Budaya kita di Malaysia, kanak-kanak mesti menghormati dan tidak boleh melawan orang tua.

“Jadi bila dengar pelajar saman guru, kita terkejut dan tidak boleh terima,” katanya dalam forum ‘Pelajar Saman Guru’ yang disiarkan secara langsung di Facebook Tiada.Guru.

Sebelum ini, media melaporkan kes seorang pelajar sekolah yang menyaman guru bahasa Inggerisnya atas dakwaan tidak masuk kelas selama tujuh bulan.

Kes itu berlaku pada Oktober 2018, dan dibicarakan Nov tahun lalu. Dalam samannya, pelajar itu mendakwa gurunya tidak hadir untuk mengajar subjek Bahasa Inggeris di kelasnya pada tahun 2015 di Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK) Taun Gusi, Kota Belud, Sabah.

Dalam pada itu, Firdaus yang juga Ketua Strategi Hak Asasi Manusia di Malaysian Centre For Constitutional and Human Right (MCCHR) berkata, sekiranya menghargai hak asasi kanak-kanak, semua pihak perlu terima tindakan pelajar terbabit apabila hak asasi dicabul orang dewasa, malah menegaskan hak asasi kanak-kanak perlu dipertahankan.

Bagaimanapun, beliau mengakui usaha mendapatkan keadilan terdapat kesukaran dan cabarannya. Katanya, antara cabarannya adalah mendepani perasaan takut, melibatkan kos kewangan apabila bawa kes ke mahkamah dan impak pada diri pelajar itu dan keluarganya.

“Selain itu cabaran lain jika kes melibatkan pengaruh kuasa politik dan keselamatan juga boleh menyebabkan penyalahgunaan kuasa,” katanya. Sementara itu, jurucakap kempen Tiada.Guru, Fiqah Roslan berkata pelajar tidak perlu takut untuk menentang sistem sekolah yang tidak betul.

Katanya, sekiranya sudah sampai ke tahap menindas pelajar, tidak wajar untuk mereka berdiam.

“Pelajar (yang saman guru) perlu sokongan orang sekeliling. “Jika guru tidak penuhi amanah, perlu diambil tindakan undang-undang,” katanya.

Fiqah yang juga seorang wartawan berkata setiap orang masih terikat dengan undang-undang dan tidak boleh lari daripadanya.

“Walaupun proses menuntut keadilan mengambil masa, tenaga dan kos sekiranya budaya takut bersuara dapat ditangani, ini mampu membawa perubahan,” katanya.

Ayuh sama-sama kita bersolidariti!! Kempen Tiada.Guru bersama Pacos Trust!

#MenuntutPendidikanBerkualitiDemiPembangunanAnakBangsa

Eko-Pelancongan Komuniti, Pertubuhan Pengurusan Hutan Komuniti, Kg. Tiga Bundu, Tambunan [PPHK3]

Program Latihan siri 1  &  2 adalah Latihan Kepimpinan & Keusahawanan, Latihan Asas Akaun, Latihan Pertanian Organik, Pemprosesan Makanan dan Pembuatan Kraftangan serta Lawatan Pendedahan yang dibiayai oleh Yayasan Hasanah. Aktiviti ini telah berlangsung sebelum PKP 2.0 bermula iaitu pada 8 hingga 11 Disember dan 17 hingga 21 Disember 2021.

Objektif program ini dijalankan adalah untuk:-

  1. Meningkatkan dan mengukuhkan komuniti dalam kepimpinan untuk mengurus dan menjalankan aktiviti sosioekonomi
  2. Mengenalpasti dan menukar idea perniagaan kepada tindakan dan pemasaran
  3. Meningkatkan pengetahuan dan kemahiran dalam pengurusan kewangan
  4. Meningkatkan kemahiran dan kaedah-kaedah pertanian organik, pemprosesan makanan, pembuatan kraftangan dengan menggunakan bahan-bahan semulajadi dan pengetahuan dalam pengurusan pelancongan

Salah satu aktiviti yang telah dijalankan adalah pembuatan oven/ketuhar tanah liat dengan menggunakan bahan semulajadi yang ada disekitar mereka sebagai salah satu cara mengatasi masalah tiada elektrik di kampung mereka.

Ketuhar ini boleh digunakan untuk memasak kek, bun, biskut, pizza  dan memanggang.  Dengan Earth Oven mereka tidak perlu risau kos elektrik dan gas etapi masih dapat menikmati  Kek, Bun, biskut yang mereka buat sendiri. Daripada aktiviti dan latihan  ini diharapkan komuniti dapat mempraktikkan apa yang mereka pelajari sebagai satu kemahiran dan pengetahuan tambahan untuk memperbaiki kehidupan dan sekaligus dapat meningkatkan sumber pendapatan mereka. 

Penduduk berterima kasih kepada kepada pihak PACOS dan komuniti dari Kg. Salong, Kg. Balantos, Kg. Sikalabaan, Kg. Sosogoh & Kg. Silungai, Daerah Kecil Pensiangan kerana telah memilih Eko-Pelancongan Komuniti, Pertubuhan Pengurusan Hutan Komuniti, Kg. Tiga Bundu, Tambunan sebagai tempat latihan.

Keeping KadazanDusun cuisine alive for another generation

Farming programmes, fusion cafés and viral recipes on social media are helping younger generations learn about the food vernacular of their roots.

Anjelen (right) and KNF Coordinator Maria Lasimbang show off a daun sirih merah plant at the farm. Photo : Natasha Sim

As a generation raised on Happy Meals and supermarket convenience, younger Kadazandusuns may not be entirely familiar with the flavours of their native foods, let alone the vocabulary around it. 

Take takob akob for instance, a fruit often described as a ‘wild’ mangosteen whose dried peel is used as a sour element in dishes. Its mouth-puckering quality is immediate when the fruit is eaten fresh. Tuhau resembles a hybrid of bunga kantan and lengkuas; its sharp aroma is nothing like its common ginger counterpart. Then there’s bosou, a fermented white fish with a strong smell that leaves sour and bitter notes in the mouth. 

Bosou is a dish of fermented fish. In this version, pangi or buah keluak is aded as an extra indgredient. Photo : Pison Jaujip

In an age shaped by globalisation, native cuisine in all its tanginess and pungency has become an ‘acquired taste’. There are those who grew up with these flavours who would rather leave them behind. Anjelen Daransun is the Socioeconomic Program Director for indigenous community organisation PACOS Trust, whose work now involves getting youths to take on traditional farming as a means to become food secure. 

“It’s difficult. In the kampung, they want to leave what they already have,” says Anjelen. Many are inclined to forsake the land, rivers and jungle that could mean having ownership over food production. Swathes of land that could be cultivated for food crops are traded in for cash crops like palm oil instead. And new ways of eating, she adds, include a preference for Maggi Mee and canned sardines. 

Anjelen and her team weigh and pack produce that will be sold at their community market. Photo : Natasha Sim

But when nasi lemak, roti canai and char kuey teow dominate the conversations about Malaysian food, perhaps that is just what becomes of Malaysian cuisines that aren’t represented fairly. And unlike instant noodles, fermented fish or foraged plants are foods you have to work for—and one can see why the former is an easier choice. It’s this trend that PACOS hopes to change through initiatives like Kivatu Nature Farm (KNF) to inspire the cultivation and use of native ingredients. 

PACOS Human Resource Coordinator Claudia Lasimbang concurs. “We introduce modern techniques to farming that can increase crop yield and teach food processing. It’s part of the process of people becoming more confident in their wellbeing and livelihoods,” she says. Anjelen adds that food farming can exist alongside money-making crop production.

KNF hopes to introduce SRI to the community as a way of revitalising rice cultivation, an increasingly lost art. Photo : Natasha Sim

But oftentimes, KNF initiatives fall short of attracting a younger audience. The ones that usually come through programmes that build rural capacity are older folks who are perhaps reconciling themselves with forgotten ways. Anjelen says she’s been to workshops specifically tailored to the younger crowd, but they are choosing popular mobile game PUBG over learning in their seats. The dichotomy between urban and rural mindsets is apparent. In the city, folks have the privilege of being swayed by global trends favouring all things organic, gluten-free, and vegan. But the grass is greener for rural folks.

Plus, following oral traditions, losing the Kadazandusun language could also mean losing the cuisine. Wisdom is passed down through spoken word like rhymes and rinait used to bless the paddy fields and more.

Sabahan nasi lemak with kinoing or salted fish, sambal takob akob and the usual nasi lemak toppings. Photo : The Sixpack Baker

Drawing from her personal experience growing up, Claudia recalls specific words used for activities like foraging for lomiding (wild fern or paku pakis) or bamboo shoots. ‘Jaga pias’, or ‘watch out for that cliff!’ [were phrases] we could understand by seeing and experiencing,” she says. It’s different from simply asking: ‘What’s for breakfast?’ The gap is as much in communication as it is in culture.

On top of that, modern café owners are peppering Kadazandusun ingredients into their menus to tease interest. Part of the journey in preserving culture and identity is through its food, says 30-year-old Hazli Bojili. He co-runs The Sixpack Baker with his 70-year-old mother Norhanida Annol. Part of his work at the cafe is to make native ingredients more accessible to the modern psyche.

Norhanida’s fresh fruit harvest includes bambangan (bottom) and kamansi or sukun or breadfruit (top). She says that kamansi braised in coconut milk is a delicious way of eating the fruit. Photo: Natasha Sim

“Our [local] food can be quite strange. Even I find it geli sometimes,” he says with candour. At his ‘hidden’ café that was only set up post-MCO, Hazli uses tuhau in a pizza; opts for sambal takob akob or bambangan in his nasi lemak; and uses the cheaper and more accessible kodop for mushroom soup. 

“I have a sense of what people my age might want to eat, and my mum has the knowledge of tradition. Together we’re trying to find common ground and fuse those ways. As long as we’re keeping to the values of the culture and understanding the essence of those ingredients, I think it’s okay,” says Hazli. His mother agrees. “Adaptation to a modern way of doing things can make it more interesting. What’s important is we don’t lose our way of life,” she says.

Norhanida and Hasli stand in their home garden. Most of the fruits, vegetables and herbs grown here are harvested for The Sixpack Baker. Photo: Natasha Sim

Ropuhan di Tanak Wagu, meanwhile, is the brainchild of 36-year-old Pison Jaujip, and roughly translates to The Young Lad’s Kitchen. In early 2016, Pison used a similar approach to get the social media generation interested in native foods. 

“I started on Facebook. Back then I would post ‘fusion’ recipes like pancakes topped with our own ‘beri hutan’ gosing,” he says. Gosing is a type of wildberry that’s quickly being removed from Sabah’s food vernacular. 

Pison’s Instagram and Facebook pages combined have attracted some 72,000 followers. But his job is far from done. “I’ve moved away from posting fusion recipes. I now focus on traditional recipes, as well as posting about ingredients because I feel that local produce needs to be valued more often,” he says.

Pison stands next to a liposu or buah asam pahong tree at the Kinabalu Park. The fruit is sweet and sour, as a lot of native fruits are. Photo: Pison Jaujip

Traditional recipes that Pison uses are passed down from his grandmother, and he fears they will be lost forever. The food influencer also notes a struggle with getting ingredients he grew up with at the tamu or market.

“Nowadays when I go to the tamu all I see are tuhau, bambangan, losun, itu-itu saja,” he says. Wild ingredients like tanggianggi, a fruit bearing the taste of passionfruit and a sweet scent resembling vanilla, are harder to find when jungles get turned into estates. When Pison asks tamu sellers about other ingredients, they would tell him “tiada permintaan bah, nak”. 

Tanggianggi, tengaranuk or angil manuk is a kind or sour berry that’s endemic to Sabah. Its smell resembles a mix of passionfruit and vanilla. Photo: Ropuhan di Tanak Wagu

Perhaps the old ways are seen as primitive, The Sixpack Baker’s Norhanida says. Her son Hazli interrupts to add that during last year’s state-level Kaamatan festivities at Hongkod Koisaan, his mother’s traditional food stall didn’t do so well. Customers were going around looking for nuggets and french fries as pusas, or snacks, instead. 

“I’d like to change that mindset. Primitive is natural, organic and most importantly, nutritious. Food is health,” says Norhanida, who also serves as chairperson for the North Borneo Herbal Growers Association.

Before it could get its stamp, Kadazandusun cuisine was already being replaced by other types of foods and ingredients from majority cultures in Malaysia. Hazli says: “It’s like it got lost in the making.”

**

Born and raised in Sabah, Natasha Sim enjoys a bowl of ngiu chap for breakfast.

by Natasha Sim / 13 January 2021 

Latihan Kepimpinan Wanita

Pada 08 – 11 Disember 2020, Partners of Community Organizations (PACOS) Trust telah menganjurkan Latihan Kepimpinan Wanita selama 4 hari secara alam maya, Latihan ini adalah salah satu langkah untuk memperkasakan dan memperkukuhkan kemahiran wanita dalam kepimpinan agar wanita bersedia untuk mengambil 30 peratus Jawatan Kepimpinan Utama dalam mana-mana organisasi kerajaan, swasta dan peringkat komuniti.

Objektif latihan ini dijalankan adalah untuk memastikan lebih ramai wanita tampil dan layak menjawat tugas di peringkat kampung dan seterusnya di peringkat institusi Mahkamah Anak Negeri.

Sambutan latihan tersebut sangat membrasangkan dengan kehadiran peserta alam maya sebanyak 177 peserta. Untuk makluman semua, latihan ini akan berterusan selama 2 tahun dan terdapat 4 peringkat/fasa latihan yang akan dijalankan. Peserta yang telah berdaftar secara tidak langsung akan mengikuti sesi tersebut.

Program Kesedaran Hentikan Perkahwinan Bawah Umur 18 Tahun Bagi Pekerja Muda

24 november 2020 | selasa

Webinar mengenai Kesedaran Hentikan Perkahwinan Bawah Umur 18 Tahun bagi Pekerja Muda telah diadakan secara alam maya. Objektif program ini diadakan adalah bertujuan memberi kesedaran tentang kesihatan reproduktif dan cara-cara menangani perkahwinan bawah umur 18 tahun dalam kalangan pekerja muda.

Pada masa yang sama, Kempen 16 Hari Aktivisme Menentang Keganasan Berasaskan Gender turut dilancarkan sempena kempen tahunan yang diadakan di seluruh dunia. Ia bermula dari sekumpulan aktivis wanita dari Women’s Global Leadership Institute pada tahun 1991 untuk menangani pelbagai bentuk keganasan berasaskan gender. Kempen ini bertujuan meningkatkan kesedaran, menangani masalah dasar dan undang-undang; dan juga untuk melindungi orang-orang yang terselamat dari keganasan.

Kempen ini bermula pada 25 November sehingga 10 Disember. Di Sabah, satu kajian berkaitan dengan perkahwinan bawah umur 18 tahun telah dijalankan di 5 buah daerah Sabah iaitu Pitas, Kota Marudu, Beluran, Nabawan dan Tenom yang melibatkan 62 kampung. Hasil daripada kajian mendapati bahawa seramai 155 responden wanita Orang Asal telah berkahwin sebelum berusia 18 tahun dalam tempoh 2004 – 2019. Isu ini sangat penting untuk semua cakna dan perlu diambil tahu.

Ayuh, teruskan berkempen!