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A person belonging to an ethnic group indigenous to the State of Sabah in Malaysia who accepts, acknowledges and admits his or her origin, identity, ancestry, heritage or history as belonging to or having connection to the Kadazan ethnic group and includes but not limited to those who reside or domicile in countries other than Malaysia but share a common origin, identity, ancestry, heritage or history of the Kadazan ethnic group either through marriage or intermarriage but provided always that one or either parent is of a Kadazan descendant shall be a Kadazan as defined hereof.


To preserve, maintain and to uplhold the dignity of the Kadazan race as an indigenous ethnic in Sabah and Kadazan is the accurate description of its name as a race.

To preserve, maintain and to uplhold the dignity of the Kadazan race as an indigenous ethnic in Sabah and Kadazan is the accurate description of its name as a race.

To promote closer relationship and greater understanding and untiy among the Kadazan race. At the same time to offer co-operation with other communal associations to foster and promote inter-racial harmony among the Malaysian citizens.

To undertake to identify the cultural and traditional practices which are detrimental to the progress of the Kadazan race and to adopt positive efforts to discard such practices.

To assist with greater efforts to develop and to preserve the traditions, customs, culture, economy and language of the Kadazan race.
To inculcate the culture and tradition with the desire to acquire knowledge through education to the highest level as a necessary asset to progress in all aspects of the Kadazan race.

To foster the love of literature, crafts, arts, music and to modernize the mindset of the Kadazan race to progress.
To acquire property, to dispose and invest in any venture as approved by the Supreme Council, hold fund raising activities in order to attain any one of its aims and objectives subject to the prior approval of the appropriate authority.


The Society of Kadazans was registered on 24th August 1953 and was led by Mr. Lee Kim Cheong as its first Chairman and Mr. Richard Yap as its Secretary, while O.T. Tinoi from Kg. Tuavon was appointed as the Patron. Both Lee and Richard were Sino-Kadazans whose mothers were pure Kadazan but were married to non-native Chinese. Hence, their off springs were then classified as Sino-Kadazan before the advent of the Federation of Malaysia.


Pic shows: The Chairman of the Society of Kadazans, the Mr. Lee Kim Cheong speaking at the Society’s AGM at Kg. Tuavon, Penampang during which Donald Stephens (later Tun Fuad Stephens) was appointed Vice-Chairman cum Advisor of the Society. Donald Stephens and Fred Sinidol are seen on each side at the entrance of the Society of Kadazans building.

The main objectives of the Society were, among others, to get the Sino-Kadazan to be accorded with the native status and the privileges as enjoyed by the natives of Sabah. The other objective was to have the Kadazan Harvest Festival recognized as an annual celebration.

Once the Sino-Kadazans were recognized as natives of Sabah by the colonial Government, they were then issued with Native Certificates thus elevating their status as natives of North Borneo henceforth. This recognition of ‘Sinos’ as having native status was further manifested by the appointment of a Sino-Kadazan in the person of Fedelis Tan Ping Hing as the first Native Chief in the Native Court of Penampang District.

At the Society’s AGM in 1957, Donald Stephens who was interested to join the Society was welcome by its Chairman, Mr. Lee Kim Chuan. Donald Stephens was elected as the Chairman at the Society’s AGM the following year. Donald Stephens and OKK Sodomon Gunsanad from Keningau jointly fought hard to gain the vital recognition of the Kadazan Harvest Festival (Ka’amatan Festival) which was finally declared as a public holiday by the then Colonial Government since 1960.

The Society of Kadazans’s activities gradually became less active from 1960 in the face of a more challenging task ahead of the community. It appears that nation building by way of gaining independence for North Borneo through the formation of Malaysia became a priority among the Kadazan leaders. Henceforth, the Kadazan Harvest Festival celebration was organized by the Kadazans at kampong levels on ad-hoc basis.



A Newspaper cutting from N.B.N. & Sabah Times Issue dated 30th June 1960 (Courtesy of Arkib Negeri Sabah)

Shortly after the formation of Malaysia on 16 September 1963, a cultural body was registered in 1964 known as the Kadazan Cultural Association (KCA) with Fred Sinidol as its first Chairman. The main objective of this Association was to promote Kadazan cultures, in particular a state-wide coordinated organizing of the annual Kadazan Harvest Festival, now known as Pesta Ka’amatan or “Ka’amatan”.

The Kadazan Society of Sabah (KSS) was therefore registered to address the race development of the Kadazan as per its definition, aims and objectives as approved in the KSS constitution for now and 1,000 years and beyond. KSS was registered on 19th May 2006 under registration no: 0569-06-SBH and later inaugurated on 27th January 2007.




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