It all started with a discussion over how paranoid those from the peninsular are over Sarawak. Questions over our immigration, lifestyle, location, how Sarawak has progressed and many more, seem to always pop up when the talk is about Sarawak. Some have in fact said that Sarawak is an exotic place, unknown to Peninsular Malaysians.
While most Sarawakians believe Peninsular Malaysians have grown up to know their geography better, many Peninsular Malaysians still, from time to time, fail to understand Sarawak, and hence the huge discussion by Bernard, Zhen, Brian, Fahriee, Rodz, PK, Norman and myself at Backstage, Kuching. The talk was amazing, and the laughter filled Backstage till the wee hours.
Well, here’s the facts and perceptions I came to conclude which I think every Peninsular Malaysian or outsiders have to know before coming over.
#01 Kuching and Kota Kinabalu (KK) is 800.6 km (487.5 miles) away, so can we have the typical “Can you pick my friend at KK coz you’re in Kuching?” over now.
#02 We don’t head hunt anymore. We let the professional do it.
#03 Sarawak is well developed across it’s land. Go to any city, and you will notice how every city is equally big and modern. The towns are not as bad as well.
#04 We don’t live on trees anymore, but we do have a hotel called the ‘Tree House’, which is on a tree and cost over RM300 a night for you to rent out.
#05 We like the 3-months limit imposed to non-Sarawakians coming to Sarawak. =P
#06 KK is not in Sarawak, and Kuching is not in Sabah.
#07 Sarawak is part of Malaysia. We formed Malaysia. Without Sarawak, there would be no Malaysia. As a matter of fact, we were invited to join Malaysia. We didn’t ask to join Malaysia.
#08 If you call the national football team ‘Harimau Melaya’, then it’s not our national team.
#09 We have no idea what is so special about Kuching/Miri/Sibu/Bintulu, but we know it’s home, and we love it for just that.
#10 The 15 minutes golden rule applies to almost every destination in Kuching. “Yep, I’ll be there in 15 minutes” the saying goes.
#11 If you are VERY concerned about halal certs and shops only catering for Muslims, then be prepared NOT to enjoy the best of Sarawak food, because we have A LOT of non-Muslim and Muslim stalls side by side. Even better, maybe don’t come because you might end up eating at McDonald’s or KFC only.
#12 We love our brothers and sisters regardless of religion because they respect each other. They don’t tolerate each other. There’s a difference you know.
#13 Sarawak is the 4th most populated state in Malaysia (according to 2010 census), but we are the least dense per area.
#14 We have over 28 ethnic groups, and that does not count the inter-marriages which makes a new breed of many captivating beautiful people.
#15 Yes, we do use RM in out transactions, but if you want to pay in USD, you’re most welcomed. Just don’t expect a refund.
I’m not saying all Peninsular Malaysian’s are ignorant, but sometimes, you just need to point out the facts. Sarawak is awesome!