PogunKKJitilon is a private residential home located in the heart or middle of Kuai-Kandazon Village. It is one of the oldest wooden house in Penampang district. This house was built by the owner himself, KK Jitilon Lojuit, about 55 years ago and was officially occupied in 1961 during which the North Borneo (now known as Sabah) was still under the British administration.
KK Jitilon Lojuit is a skilled carpenter who employed by many people especially around his village and other villages around Penampang to built their houses. In early 60s he was offered to join PWD (Public Work Department) for a carpenter job. He retired as a supervisor for road maintenance in mid 80s.
He was the Head of Kuai-Kandazon village since early 80s till he passed away in June 2006. He replaced the previous Head of Village, KK Banyoh Molijiu, which he assisted for many years since early 70s. He was born on 31 December 1930 and got married to Mdm Melen Malanggin, a bobohizan (Kadazan Priestess) at the age of 17 in 1947. They’re blessed with five children (3 girls and 2 boys).
Until middle of 80s, he and his family were planting wet paddy to support family members needs. During the paddy harvesting, they team-up with their relatives in harvesting together (or mitabang / gotong royong). They used to relate to the younger generation like us the true meaning and why our village was named Kuai.
According to KK Jitilon Lojuit, the richest man in this village during the British was OKK Lojungah. He lived in Kuai village and held the Native Chief of Penampang District position for many years. He had a tame horse named Kuai due to it gentleness and obedience and used to call the horse as “KUAI” which means (Kuai-Kuai in mandarin) as good, polite, and obedient. That’s how this village was popularly known as Kg.Kuai.
Kuai village is administrated under one Head of Village with Kandazon which is located at further down stream of the river bank. With this two bigger villages and few other smaller villages including Tagad, Koduntut, Soboong, Botung, and Togop made Kuai-Kandazon as one of the biggest village in Penampang District. However, Togop community has decided to be on their own and asked for separation in late 80s. Since then, they became independent village under DEVATO – Divan and Togop village).
Kuai-Kandazon village is predominantly populated with the Kadazan farmers of Penampang district. Until early 80s, most of them were planting wet paddy for their living. But since middle 80s, most of the paddy field nearby this village were abandoned – older generation have retired from farming and mostly had passed on while the new generation have changed their living lifestyles. The new generation who were born around late 50s and early 60s had attended schools and higher learning at colleges and university level, they have started getting better job in government department and also in the private sectors as clerical staffs, supervisors, teachers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, managers and head of departments.
Currently, there are two housing areas have been developed in this village – the Malakun Garden and Lojungah Garden. People of other race from outside this village like the Chinese and Malay have started buying and residing in this housing area which changed Kauai village demographic population. There are also attractions in this village like Lembah Impian, a resort hotel, started their operation in Kandazon since late 90s and the Monsopiad Cultural Village (MCV) begin it operations in early 90s.
Early this year 2015, PogunKKJitilon Village Stay has started receiving airbnb guests from overseas like Holland, China, UK, Singapore and also locally from other districts of Sabah. Based on feedback from our guests, this wooden house should be preserved and if possible renovation into concrete like modern building should be avoided to maintained it traditional architecture design and the originality.
Local guests like the higher learning students from local university too came to stay at this wooden house for fieldwork and research purposes. Recently, a group of UMS (University Malaysia Sabah) came and learned how to make local Sabahans traditional handicrafts with the guidance and assistance of our elder generation.