When we all pray for Sabah

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Among the few banners at the Sarawak State Stadium

Last night i somehow had the opportunity of watching the mutilation of one of our policeman in Lahad Datu by the Sulu forces.

Full house in the making before the game
Full house in the making before the game

The gruesome video indeed should not be showed to minors, but it somehow made its way to the kids populated Facebook.  The Lahad Datu intrusion has gone to almost a month now, and signs it will soon be over look promising with the Malaysian security forces gallantly fighting them off.  The day the whole incident ends would mean a bottle of champagne would be in order.  Lets hope its soon.

Last Saturday when Sarawak entertained Sabah for the Borneo Derby in the Sarawak State Stadium, there was something very special happening.  I was in the stands, and I have been coming to the stands of this ‘special’ stadium since I was 10, and this time, it was extra special.

The norms of hearing odd voices criticizing teams opposing teams playing Sarawak at home was somewhat missing last night.  There was no shouts of “Balik la Sabah!” (Go back to Sabah!), or “Buaya makan saja Sabah” (Crocs eat Sabah), which is quite normal in games featuring Sarawak and other teams.  There was a huge restrain as boos also failed to echo in the State Stadium for the first time as I can remember.

Among the few banners at the Sarawak State Stadium
Among the few banners at the Sarawak State Stadium

Instead, banners and white A4 papers saying “Pray for Sabah” and “Sabah, our Borneo brothers” were held by fans, with some keenly distributing flyers saying “Peace for Lahad Datu”.  I gazed across the packed stadium as I noticed a few Sabah flags being flown.  It was something really out of the ordinary as the flag was not within a Sabah designated fan section, but rather a place filled with Sarawakians fans all wearing red.

The security forces also gained massive credit with the usual shouts of “Polis tangkap referee” (Catch the referee, police), and other cynical remarks often made by naughty fans, replaced with the song “Inilah Barisan Kita” (This is our line).

A4 papers saying 'Peace for Lahad Datu' distributed
A4 papers saying ‘Peace for Lahad Datu’ distributed

For me, this was a magical moment.  The pain felt by Sabahans, including the brave security forces seemed to have rubbed on to us in Sarawak, with 30,000 football fans of different ethnic and background making themselves heard by doing something out of the norm for a typical football game in Malaysia.  It was simply a moment of pride for myself as a Sarawakian to see how we are behind our brothers in Sabah.

With that said, Sabah and Sarawak, bro’s for life!

 

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