The Kadazan Society Sabah (KSS) has filed a customary summons at the native court against Sabah Mufti Bungsu @ Aziz Jaafar for allegedly saying that the Kadazans are an "invented race".

According to The Star, the saman malu was filed at the office of district chief (customary) OKK Christopher Mojungkim at the Penampang district court yesterday.

A saman malu in native court terms is a summons filed for shame to the community, and does not equate to a defamation suit in the civil court  system.

If the native court judge finds the mufti guilty of this, he will have to pay the complainant a fine called sogit.

"Our feelings and dignity will be hurt beyond repair if it is not settled through the native court.

"Mufti Bungsu is therefore required to make appeasement to the Kadazan community in accordance with native customary law," KSS chief Sylvester Disimon reportedly said.

Bungsu is obliged to appear at the Penampang native court within 21 days of the summons being filed.

Bungsu reportedly made that remark at a Putrajaya symposium on Sept 28, where he also called for all Sabah bumiputera Muslims to be recognised as Malays, and not their various ethnicities, for the sake of Islamic unity.

Monitor negative reactions 

Meanwhile, Sabah Muslim NGOs called on the Malaysian Communication and Multimedia Commission to monitor negative reactions online to avoid racial and religious tensions.

"We call upon all to be more careful while issuing statements so as to not invite fissure and disrupt harmony," the Sabah Islamic NGO coalition Concern said in a statement.

Offering to act as an intermediary on the matter, Concern also said the mufti institution is the highest Islamic jurisprudence institution and attacks against it "touch on Muslim sensitivities".

The coalition's worries were echoed by the Sabah chapters of the Malaysian Islamic Youth Movement (Abim) and Wadah Pencerdasan Umat (Wadah).

Speaking against the "emotional" reactions, they said the mufti's views is not an enforceable fatwa.

"In this case, Abim and Wadah feel that it is unreasonable to force the different ethnics of Sabah to become Malay, as Sabahans have their own culture which has been practised for generations.

"It is up to the respective ethnic members to decide whether they want to accept Malay elements into their culture or completely identify themselves as Malays," they said in a statement.

~ Malaysiakini