10th May 2016
COMMENT With humble and sincere intentions, I have to point out what Sarawakians and Sabahans generally feel about West Malaysians.
If Sun Wu Kong (the Monkey God) had a ‘Journey to the West’, PKR and DAP should now have a ‘Journey to the East’.
In future, obey these rules, and you will not fail so miserably in the east.
1. NEVER go into others’ house, telling them their house is under-developed, lesser democratic, less rich, no highway, no water, no electricity.
Sarawakians are humans, and humans have dignity. The first impression would be: “Why are you West Malaysians so arrogant”?
2. NEVER call people stupid.
If you believe in democracy, then you must also respect East Malaysians’ democratic rights to vote BN, whatever the reason of their choice is.
You claim to be a democracy fighter, yet when Sarawakians exercise their right to vote BN, you call them stupid. Isn’t that a contradiction?
Just to play the devil’s advocate – Voting PKR/DAP is more stupid in the East, because you will end up with no water, no electricity and you will also be transferred deep into the jungle if you are a government servant. And when this happens, DAP/PKR cannot do anything.
3. NEVER force upon Sarawakians what you think they should have.
Sarawakians (and Sabahans) know what they want. Don’t tell them what you think they should have.
Time to check whether electricity, roads, water, etc is really what they want, and time to check whether they want that from West Malaysians, or do they want that from their own Sarawakians?
Reflect, and start pushing local leaders to the front. The likes of Baru Bian, Chong Chieng Jen, Mordi Bimol, Athina Sim should all be allocated front space in the media, not the West Malaysian leaders.
(I don’t care what your party ranking is, this is a state election, not a party election.)
Outsiders like us should assist the local leaders, not tell them what to do.
4. NEVER dictate the aspirations of Sarawakians.
The simple logic behind anti-Malaya sentiments is because ‘Malaya wants to always be boss’.
Learn that East Malaysians in general hate that, and will base their arguments on the 1963 Malaysia Agreement – Sabah, Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia are equal partners.
There is no boss, there are only bosses (three bosses, one from each Sabah, Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia).
The anger is much misplaced, because the real thief is not Malayans, but BN comprising both East Malaysia and West Malaysia leaders.
In order to dispel this, you must let local leaders take centre stage, because only the local leaders will know what their own people want.
Get an engineer to tell a doctor what is best for the patient, get a mathematician to tell a lawyer how to fight a court case, and you will be screwed big time.
5. NEVER assume what West Malaysians hate is what East Malaysians hate.
“Anak Melayu, Anak Cina, Anak Iban” quotes DON’T WORK in Sabah and Sarawak, because we never had any racial animosity.
It works in the peninsula because racial and religious animosity is prevalent, and there are many who yearn for harmony.
Try telling a billionaire a Pakatan Harapan government will give him free water, electricity, buses etc, and you will get the same results – zilch.
6. NEVER try to show how religious you are in East Malaysia.
While I respect my Muslim friends as much as I respect my parents, I have to explain that a lot of East Malaysians are in a way ‘Islamophobes’.
Hence, showing how religious one is will not only destroy your party image, but also destroy the struggles you fight for.
Words like “ini bumi Allah” (This is God’s earth), “Allahuakbar” (God is great) etc will freak out the majority Christian population.
In fact, if you realise, Sarawak BN chief Adenan Satem is well-accepted even by non-Muslims because he does not go around showing how Muslim he is.
7. NEVER try to defy the six points mentioned above.
You can try going into Sabah and Sarawak and tell them their house is under-developed, you can try calling them stupid for voting BN, you can try forcing upon what you think they should have, you can try dictating the aspirations of East Malaysians, you can try to assume what works in the West works in the East, you can try showing how religious you are, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, you can also try defying all six point mentioned above, BUT, what will happen is East Malaysians will have the final say, and they will vote for BN.
So you will end up failing miserably, again. So, better don’t try disobeying these six general rules.
PS: I am criticising PKR and DAP in a constructive way because I believe they have the sincerity to bring change.
However, the approach must be re-looked, revisited and changed to an Ubah and Reformasi approach suited to the East.
ADRIAN LIM is a Sabahan, and chairperson of the #BebasAnwar movement. He was also part of PKR’s campaign team in Sarawak.