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‘Defamed’ Pairin barred musician from performing

Atama feel the wrath from Huguan Siou.
KOTA KINABALU: Well-known local musician Atama is still feeling the wrath of deputy chief minister cum Huguan Siou Josep Pairin Kitingan for daring to lampoon him several months ago.

The local singer and songwriter was prevented from performing during this week’s Kaamatan or Harvest Festival by the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) on the orders of Pairin.

Andrew Ambrose Mudi, who goes by the stage name of Atama, said he came to know about his disgrace and the barring of his performances when the KDCA abruptly cancelled his show just as he was about to go on stage.

He said he was told that Pairin’s secretary ordered the KDCA to stop his performance of a new song he had produced with another local musician during the climax of Harvest Festival on May 31.

A senior KDCA official, he said, informed him of the political interference after he demanded to know why he was not allowed to go on stage despite earlier being invited to perform.

“I asked her (the KDCA official) whether it was the president of the KDCA himself (Pairin) who gave the order and she said “no”.

“I then asked whether it was the executive secretary of KDCA and she also said “no”.

“When I persisted to know, she finally told me that it was the secretary of Pairin,” he told a reporter here.

Legal action

Atama said it was a deplorable act given that he was invited by the host singer Peter Dicky Lee, a veteran entertainer, to perform with him to promote their new single entitled ‘Mombit Kombit Kaamatan’, a Harvest Festival song which he had helped produce.

The performance in the KDCA was supposed to be their first live performance of the song to promote the album.

What transpired on the night as he was about to walk on stage was quite dramatic. The technical staff cut off the sound to Lee’s microphone to prevent him announcing Atama’s name to the crowd.

Mortified by the twist in events especially in front of his fans, Atama demanded that the stage manager announce publicly the reason why he was stopped from performing. She however refused.

He is now deliberating filing a suit against the organizers of the event.

This is the second time the musician who criticised Pairin in a blog posting early this year for betraying the native community has crossed swords with the community’s paramount leader who many feel has betrayed them.

In January this year, Pairin’s Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) as well as Umno censured the musician for daring to mock the state’s top politicians.

PBS officials even lodged a police report against the Kadazandusun hip-hop artiste for posting a caricature of Pairin with Sabah Umno leaders, Chief Minister Musa Aman and Masidi Manjun in Facebook along with a parody of the three plotting to betray the Kadazandusun community.

His posting went viral in the community with many praising it for being blunt about their situation.

Atama refused to apologise for the posting, calling it artistic licence while Pairin lashed out at the musician for slandering him.

“If I say that I am not hurt (by the postings), I would be telling a lie… what have I done to deserve the slanderous remarks (by Atama)?” he said at the time even as his party’s youth wing lodged a police report against the popular musician.

Disgraceful move

Sabah DAP has stepped into the controversy after the singer sought the help of Kota Kinabalu MP Hiew King Cheu to prevent the politicisation of a cultural event and the censorship of artistes by politicians.

In a statement issued here, Hiew expressed regret over the incident and urged the organizers of such events to be more considerate and to always help promote local artistes and singers.

“This is especially so when we have lots of foreign tourists like we had in the KDCA recently. Any personal ill feelings and fight must be put aside.

“This happening in KDCA to Atama should not be repeated anywhere else in Sabah, especially in an official function,” he said, adding that it was disgraceful that state leaders were attempting to control musicians and artists.

Atama is the son of the founder of the “Bamboo Orchestra” in Sabah – Ambrose Mudi, a prominent local musician and the first Dusun singer to perform on national television.


  1. u say it best!!! When u say nothing at all!!

  2. siapa suruh..dulu orit no po tapi sekarang cari susah.....kotoh...kotoh.


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