May 1, 2011

SOME West Malaysians, NOT ALL..

I was reading a post by one Andrew Voon entitled: Unapologetically Sarawakian (Stories from the East). He was reminiscing about growing up in his hometown. The harmony amongst the townsfolk of various ethnicity and religious beliefs. He admonished the divisive politics that West Malaysians practices, by that, I think he was referring to politicians and their supporters. He said Sarawakians will not go down that path.

He said Sarawak being an equal partner to the formation of Malaysia should participate more in nation building and stopped letting themselves be bullied by West Malaysian politicians. Some of whom he said, don't even have an intimate knowledge of Sarawak but nonetheless, like to offer advice about how Sarawak should be. He lamented that some West Malaysians still think Mount Kinabalu is in Kuching.

He ended his post by saying that if one day, when a non-Muslim Sarawakian becomes the Prime Minister of Malaysia, then that would be the day that Malaysia becomes a success story of multi-racialism.

I think his comments touched a raw nerve on some West Malaysians because someone posted this comment to his post:
Unfortunately, you are not able to see Jakun as one of the Orang Asli tribe in Semenanjung…Jakun has no problem at all with whatever you the city folks want to do…
your writing reminded me of the unequal treatment of Sarawak towards other Malaysians…talking about true Malaysia konon…  
Why so sensitive? He said 'some', not all West Malaysians. Why do some West Malaysians think that when East Malaysians refer to some ignorant West Malaysians, they automatically assume that we are referring the whole inhabitants of the peninsula? Admittedly, there are still some ignorant West Malaysians particularly politicians as there are some ignorant East Malaysians about West Malaysia. 

Even our Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin conceded the government's ignorance. Here's an excerpt of what he reportedly said during a visit to Kinabatangan in March 2011.
Citing Kinabatangan parliamentary constituency, the deputy prime minister said he had been ignorant until now that the constituency is bigger than Pahang, and was shocked to know that Tongod district itself was bigger than Selangor.
Muhyiddin also made a staggering revelation in Tongod that the Barisan Nasional (BN) government has been unable to do much for the landless and hardcore poor in the country due to lack of information.
It is inevitable that when we refer to these ignorant Malaysians on the west side of this Federation, we call them West Malaysians because that is who they are! It is understandable if you take issue when we lable all West Malaysians as ignoramus but when we qualified that with the word "Some", we are referring to a segment of the populous who happen to reside in West Malaysia. 

So when you made jokes about East Malaysians still living in trees, we were suppose to take it graciously but when we joked about some ignorant West Malaysians, you take offense? Behaving like BIG BROTHER, aren't you? Little brother not allowed to poke fun of Big Brother.

I have a distinct feeling that some West Malaysians do not like it that we Sabahans and Sarawakians are proud of who we are. Is there something wrong with that? How does that contradict the 1Malaysia concept? We bankrolled your highways, your tall buildings, your cities and now you want to rob us of our identity and pride too? Note that I said some and not all West Malaysians. 

What is wrong with us guarding our 18 and 20 points? That's our wedding dowry. These are promises that the Federation of Malaya promised us which by the way, has not been fully fulfilled. Do you make promises to your spouse to be, only to break the promises once your spouse say "I do"? Good luck to your marriage then. 

This is precisely the patronizing attitude that makes us East Malaysians so put off by some West Malaysians. You think you have some East Malaysians friends and share some stories with them, watch some shows about East Malaysia aired by the propaganda tools of the government and maybe come and visit us during the weekends and suddenly you are an expert of East Malaysia? 

But I won't be condemning all West Malaysians for these snobbish few, I happen to have a few West Malaysians that I can count as good friends and they don't force or bully their views on me.

Follow up Post : ...*sigh* The Quandary
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