In Hakka song for Sino-Kadazan girls, a Johorean’s paean to multicultural Sabah (VIDEO)

KOTA KINABALU, May 22 — Johor-born Yu Tian Long admits he has always wanted a Sino-Kadazan girlfriend.

Now that he’s married though, the 38-year-old deejay and graphic artist did the next best thing he could think of — make a music video about it.

Yu’s song, “I love Sino Kadazan”, has since gone viral with upwards of 20,000 views after he posted it on video sharing site YouTube on Wednesday.

“I wish I could’ve had one,” joked Yu, who moved to Sabah with his family when he was three.

In the four-minute-and-21-second video — which Yu said was funded by a former client — he hitchhikes across Sabah’s west coast in a showcase of scenic tourist locales while he sings in Hakka about how Sino-Kadazan girls are “so cute” and make him “giddy”, especially when they spoke in Chinese.

The Hakka are the largest Chinese ethnic group in Sabah, having migrated to the north Bornean state over a century ago.

Intermarriages between the Hakka and local ethnic groups such as the Kadazan and Murut became so common, the word sino became a ubiquitous term to describe the offspring of such unions — Sino-Kadazans being an example.

A screen capture of the music video ‘I love Sino Kadazan’ showing Johor-born Yu Tian Long.
A screen capture of the music video ‘I love Sino Kadazan’ showing Johor-born Yu Tian Long.

“I really wanted to showcase something that was original to Sabah, something that only Sabah has. The Sino Kadazan mix is a very special mix and something we should be proud of and celebrate.

“I also wanted to promote Sabah’s attractions via visuals so we filmed the mountains, the tamu, and the nature of its friendly people in the video,” Yu said.

A tamu is an open market where traders from all across the state peddle anything from jungle produce to handmade knives, gongs, and everything in between.

Besides the Kadazan, there are 31 other ethnic groups that are officially recognised in Sabah, excluding the myriad subgroups that make up the state’s population of about 3.4 million.

Yu, who has released two albums previously and is a triple award winner at the World Hakkan Pop Music Finals in Meizhou, China last year, said his latest video is his homage to his adopted home.

“It is truly a local production — I want to also show Sabahans that you don’t have to leave Sabah to produce something great and professional. You can do it here on your own using what we have.

“I hope I can reach a wide audience out there — not just west Malaysia, but China, Taiwan and Hong Kong and show people what’s so special about Sabah,” he said.