‘Idle No More’ Walk Organized; Sabahans Speak Out

Joining and drawing inspiration from the growing Idle No More movement, a 60 kilometers walk from Tambunan to Penampang has been organized to give an opportunity for people to speak out on issues that affect the indigenous people of Sabah.  The walk will begin on February 22 at Tambunan and will end on February 24 at the Pagansakan Hall, Inobong, Penampang.  

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Lasimbang (right) and Sabiah Idle No More press conference

Lasimbang (right) and Sabiah at Idle No More press conference

KOTA KINABALU: ‘Idle No More’, a 60 kilometres walk from Tambunan to Penampang has been organized to give an opportunity for ordinary people to speak out on issues that affect the indigenous people of Sabah.

The initiator of the walk, Anne Lasimbang, said, so far 20 people have indicated to join in the walk which will start at 9 am on February 22, (Friday) at Tambunan town and will end on February 24 at the Pagansakan Hall, Inobong, Penampang at about 2 pm.

 “Since the election is coming very soon, we can see many politicians from the government and opposition parties talking about issues involving the indigenous people in Sabah. When the politicians talk, we are only the listeners.

 “This walk will give the opportunity to ordinary people to talk on various issues that affect our people. It will be a sign of solidarity that Sabahans need changes to talk about what they want,” said Lasimbang in a press conference at Tang Dynasty Park Hotel, yesterday.

She added that ‘Idle No More’ is her individual initiative inviting members of society to join in the walk to show their solidarity that changes in the country does not depend on politicians only but the ordinary people can also voice out what they want.

The objective of ‘Idle No More’ walk is to give each individual something to do to contribute to changes, giving ordinary people the opportunity to deliver a clear message that the future of Sabah is not decides by politicians only but also by the people as a whole and to raise issues that affect the indigenous people of Sabah.

“This walk will start with prayers and reading of a declaration before flag off. First stop on the first day will be at Masjid Sekolah Menangah Kebangsaan (SMK) Tambunan where Muslim participants can perform their Friday prayers there. Then we will continue to the other check points namely, Mansakob Waterfall, Gunung Alab Restaurant, Gunung Emas, Kampung Tudan junction and overnight at Community Learning Centre (CLC) Togudon, Penampang.

“The second day, we will continue our slow walk to four check points, namely in Moyog, Motung-Lotung Kibunut Road, Sangai-Sangai Notorus Tagal Hut and overnight at Babagon Tagal Hut,” she said, adding the authorities have been informed about the program and a medical team has set up to ensure the safety of the participants.

On the third day, the walk will be continue after Catholic Sunday prayers in the morning at Gawir Madsiang Hall before the last stop at 2 pm at Pagansakan Hall in Inobong for a closing ceremony. During the closing ceremony, participants will hand over their declaration to the community leaders so that they can continue spreading the message to the other people throughout Sabah.

Lasimbang said she is optimistic the event will be successful because she have participated in a similar event in 1985 when Tan Sri Pairin Kitingan was sacked from Berjaya. “When Pairin was sacked from Berjaya, we walked and drove from Penampang to Tambunan to show our support for him and the symbolic walk was successful.

“This time, we will start from Tambunan because our Huguan Siou is from there. We want to show through the ‘Idle No More’ walk that we want to be heard. Sabah is a rich State, but development has caused our lands to be seized and even citizenship are being given out without going to proper legal process,” she added.

Lasimbang said there will be environment activists and representatives from various religious groups joining the walk, as they will be praying according to their respective faith. Also present at the press conference yesterday was Nasiri Sabiah from Pacos Trust, who will be joining Lasimbang for the walk.