Sibu Elections is indeed getting me all excited about politics. I see ‘big’ figures on TV saying this and that about Sibu, promising goodies, change and whatever that comes to mind. Everything seems like a political agenda, and while I am writing this on polling day, and as well as teachers day… I read a few very exciting article which I believe will make every Sarawakian proud, or at least make you smile on how true the things written are.
First and for most, I found this quote :”Inter-racial relations here are greatly different from that in the peninsula. People tend to see themselves as Sarawakian first.” How true is that quote? Well, honestly.. despite how many of us Sarawakians may deny it, probably due to the nature of our job, we tend to be very protective of our homeland. We care not about the luxury in KL, or how people in the peninsular says that we are backwards. In fact, we will always fight all their statements with a good dose of “Sarawak is better in so many ways”… and although we may not say it out loud, but I believe that most non-Muslim Sarawakians are proud of our Muslim Sarawakians which are more tolerant, more receptive and more understanding if compared to those in the peninsular. Inter-racial relations is different in Sarawak? Yes…. I hugely and can’t agree more. In fact, I see that Sarawakians hate people whom try to instill religious hatred among us. Take example those from the Peninsular whom come down to Sarawak and tell our Muslim brothers and sisters about how the non-Muslims are kafir and should be avoided. I’ve heard a lot of my Sarawakian Muslim friends feeling irked by such a suggestion. To me, that shows a lot, and I really respect them for defending us non-Muslims. It’s the same way when we non-Muslims hear people talking about our Sarawakian Muslims. We tend to be very defending, saying that they are not like that…. I don’t know what you guys call it, but I call this SARAWAK.
The “Peh Ma”
Sarawakians know him all too well. We know he controls things around us, but nothing much can be done. His wisdom is unrivaled. If not, how can he continue to cling onto power for the past 29 years? Do we hate him? Well, like the article suggested… It’s a love-hate relationship. I quote: “They probably hate him for the corruption, cronyism and nepotism that have left the state’s vast natural wealth in the hands of the few while the majority are trapped in poverty. But they also believe that had it not been for Taib and PBB, Umno would have entered Sarawak and eroded if not destroyed the pleasant and easy-going Sarawakian lifestyle.“. Everyone knows how UMNO is the least favored party in Sarawak, and they join the likes of PAS.
Speaking of which, Najib is quick to stamp his presence felt in Sarawak, but I couldn’t help but smile when I read this: “Over here, the Prime Minister is known by his local honorific, Datuk Patinggi Najib. He has made his presence felt in Sarawak since his first month in office, and official photographs of him have gone up on the walls of many longhouses alongside pictures of Taib from an era when he still looked like a handsome movie star.“. I know, if you are a Sarawakian, you’d be smiling as well 😛
The Issues & The Best
As I see, people in Sarawak are not concerned about who jumps to what party. We separate ourselves from our peninsular counterpart by simply being ignorant of what they have to say and do. We see that they are not concerned about us, and only will start doing something for us when they need us. In other words, we feel they are using us. I’m not talking about any political party, but since I am in the government, lets just say it’s the opposition doing all the nonsense. The government is always good in my books. Anyway, Sarawakians can’t understand why religion is an issue in the peninsular. We find it disheartening to see those in the peninsular trying to fight over locations of mosque, churches and temples. In fact, when people started throwing Molotov cocktails towards churches, and one church was hit in Miri, Sarawakians in volumes said that that was an incident not incited by the ‘Allah’ issue, but rather an incident sparked by mischievous boys whom were probably drunk. No one blamed the Muslims, let alone point a finger directly towards them.
So, I’m not sure who will win in Sibu, but after over 45 years in Malaysia, Sarawak has finally been noticed by those ‘above’. If they refer to Sarawak as the fixed deposit, then it’s time they payed up because we are withdrawing our money to seek (probably) better places of investment. This may seem like a political inclined post, but hell… it’s what I felt upon reading these two articles: Sibu – another referendum (The Nut Graph) & ‘Shaolin’ showdown in Sibu (The Star). My post is random, but do take a peek at what those two articles have to say.
Regardless, I can relate why Sarawakians always think of themselves as a Sarawakian first. With the a lot of non-issues being an issue in the peninsular, and amount of nonsense going on in the west, it is just understandable why most Sarawakians feel less obliged to refer to themselves as from Malaysia. To that, I say that the slogan by Sarawak Tourism Board which says “Sarawak, more than Paradise” is very much fitting. I won’t want to be from any other state. Sarawak, is home…I’m a Sarawakian.