Controversial lawyer says ready to face native court for derogatory Unduk Ngadau comment

Lawyer Marcel Jude Joseph (right) with Philip Among. Joseph issued an apology to the community, including all previous contestants and the entire Kadazandusun community, but maintained that he was doing his job for his client and that his statement was at the sole discretion of the judge at the time. — Picture by Julia Chan
Lawyer Marcel Jude Joseph (right) with Philip Among. Joseph issued an apology to the community, including all previous contestants and the entire Kadazandusun community, but maintained that he was doing his job for his client and that his statement was at the sole discretion of the judge at the time. — Picture by Julia Chan

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KOTA KINABALU, June 15 — Controversial Sabahan lawyer Marcel Jude Joseph said that he’s ready to face the native court if called up over his statement on the Unduk Ngadau cultural beauty pageant.

He said that he has yet to hear from the court regarding his conduct, which has earned the anger of the Kadazandusun community, including the Huguan Siou or paramount leader Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

“Keeping options open, including mediation,” he said when contacted.

Penampang native court chief Charles Masius also said they were in the process of preparing the paperwork and will set a date for a hearing.

He said that the Sabah Unduk Ngadau Association as well as village chiefs from Penampang have filed reports to the court urging action on Joseph.

The organisers of the pageant and those in the Kadazandusun community have taken the issue with Joseph who had likened the pageant —a much loved and cherished event that takes part during the Harvest Festival — to an “exotic cattle show”.

Joseph had described it like that, among other remarks, in his written bail submission when arguing for a lower bail for his client, another controversial figure currently facing trial for molesting a beauty pageant contestant.

He, however, did not utter those words in court during his oral submission.

Joseph came under heavy fire and was asked to retract his statement which was deemed derogatory, and told to apologise.

He issued an apology to the community, including all previous contestants and the entire Kadazandusun community, but maintained that he was doing his job for his client and that his statement was at the sole discretion of the judge at the time.

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