A Quick Guide To Sarawak

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There was a hashtag over Twitter last night, and it’s popularity grew by the minute. I goggled it up, and found a blog. I read it, and I wasn’t pleased. ‘Not amused’ would be an understatement. For once, Sarawakians were shot in the head about how their Semenanjung counterparts were ‘ill treated’ here. There were claims made, and a certain university was also highlighted in the blog post. The person calls herself a ‘Diva’, and she definitely got the ‘Diva’ attention, just in a very wrong way.

As a blogger, having 500 over comments, and more than 11,000 ‘share/likes’ on a post is like hitting a jackpot. Well, this girl had just that, and with her FaceBook link, Yahoo link, Twitter handle, Skype link all over her blog, I bet she got instant fame from that one post she wrote.

But this post is not about what she said. I’m not going to even share the link. What you should know is that it takes like over 6 hours to drive to Sarikei, and if you somewhat ended in Serikin, at tried to go into Indonesia without having a passport in hand, you’d be bound to get yourself in jail. Get it?

Anyway, she had quite a huge rant about how she feels like an outsider in Sarawak, yet Sarawak is claimed to be Malaysia. She claimed she was victimized. With that said, let me give a guide to those ‘other Malaysians’ coming to Sarawak. Some may be based on the claims made by this so called ‘Diva’, while some are personal experiences.  Feel free to disagree with me.

  1. Never question or ask why non-Sarawakians need to have a passport to travel to Sarawak.  It is a  historical lesson, and Sarawakians do not seem to be giving up that right anytime soon.
  2. Freedom of practicing your faith and religion is fully practiced in Sarawak.  If you did somethings against the teaching of your religion, we won’t judge you.  Your faith, your right.
  3. Most Sarawakians speak at least 3 languages. Beware of what you say.
  4. Do not boast of KL.  We know KL has everything, but that doesn’t mean your place/hometown does have it.  Even if it did, please-lah.
  5. Don’t question or assume ones faith based on name/physical attributes.  You’d annoy them big time if you got it wrong.
  6. Don’t expect Sarawakians to treat you like ‘Masters’.  They would treat you nice, but if you give any indication that you look down on them, book your first flight back home.
  7. Muslims should know that the Muslim population in Sarawak are a bunch of pretty awesome people which do not go up saying ‘JIHAD’ every time something religious happens.
  8. Christians in Sarawak make up over 40% of the total population.  But they do not go around asking ‘Yo Bro, wanna be a Christian?’
  9. The locals may say ‘What do you want to see in our villages’, but insist on going, and you will understand us better.
  10. Get your Geography right.  Sarikei, Serikin, Serian, Simunjan are like all totally different places.
  11. Try our food. For the Muslims, Laksa Sarawak, Mee Kolok, and Kek Lapis would be among the list. For non-Muslims, Kueh Chap would be a good addition to the list.
  12. Sarawak first, Malaysia second. Don’t ask, it’s a Sarawakians thing.
  13. Be very careful of the word ‘Not far’, because that could mean a good 30 minutes drive through some dense forest.
  14. Well, if you are one of those huge staunch supporters of Ibrahim Ali, take note of this.: “Idris Jala, hell yeah.  Ibrahim Ali, hell no“… get it?

To say the least, Sarawak is like a country despite it being in Malaysia.  We may be part of Malaysia, but we have a ‘country system’ going on here.

One last thing, bloggers have freedom of speech but go against the law, incite hate, create religious tension, or defame someone/a company… and you’d be in deep shit. Freedom comes with great responsibilities, and with great power comes great electricity bill =)

p/s: She has apologized. Be a matured person and accept her apology and hope she will be a better person in the future.

10 COMMENTS

  1. I read the blog post last night, right before i went to sleep. Gave her a good sounding. Was more than annoyed at how she tried to portray Sarawak. I am living in Selangor now and hell, this place is a massive traffic jam ‘fun ride’ every day! the stupid galvanised fences are fine but when it limits you to walk pass a smelly river & rubbish dump every day… no, it is not so much of a better living experience here either. Sarawak is still the best place in Malaysia FOR ME! Or maybe in particular, Kuching! =P Cheers! Good write-up!

  2. Agreed with all those points bro. She generalised it that’s what made it a big issues that offended most of the people. I’m still with my assumption that she’s still “lack” in terms of thinking or in a more harsh words “immature” or “shollow” and she’s still not exploring a lot yet. Most of us who studied outside our own states will face the same or almost the same issues that’s why the phrase “cultural shock” exist. But we didn’t made a fuss about it or maybe we did but not publicly offending others. She apologized so it’s a good thing although we didn’t know how much sincerity she puts into that but, well, we can just forgive her and to forget or not it’s a personal choice, at the very least we show her our acceptence of her apologies 🙂

    (there goes my long comment again, after a long while hihihi* Cheers bro! 🙂

  3. Wow, you certainly piqued my curiosity with this post. Nice, you would make a good Ambassador, gentle but firm. Sometimes people misunderstood a whole nation because they don’t often take the time to get acquainted or because they are resentful for God knows what (past experience maybe). The best way to handle the situation is be open minded and remember that you’re in a strange land. And it’s wise to be friendly with the locals because you might get lost and need a human map. 🙂

    • Me? Ambassador? How I wished that would come true.. but if it did, can I stay in Kuching? I’d hate to leave.. really…

      And yes, you have a very valid point there. Always be nice to everyone. You never know…

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