“Sarawak does not need an act on race relations to prevent racial conflicts as there is no racial problem in the state” – A meaningful statement made by our Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Dato Sri Awang Tengah Ali Hassan.
That is a statement I quote from the Borneo Post dated 24 September 2008. It started to occur to me that perhaps politicians do make honest comments at times and not just the bunga-bunga comment in order to win hati rakyat! I myself believe that no matter who you are, comes the end of the day human will act as human; which is to speak out their honest views and feelings.
I am really glad to learn that Sarawakians, despite having diverse ethnic groups name it the Malays, Chinese, Melanaus, Ibans, Bidayuhs, Orang Ulu, and many other native tribes each with its own distinct dialect, beliefs and traditions, there is yet never been an issue to the people of Sarawak to enjoy living their life harmoniously with each other. But it’s a different case in the West Malaysia. This issue comes in the wake of the detention of a Sin Chew Daily reporter under the Internal Security Act (ISA) last week, when she had wrote a news report of former Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail’s alleged disparaging remarks about the Chinese community during campaigning for the Permatang Pauh by-election.
Lately racial issues have been used to trigger out the angriness among various groups in the society. Logically, this shouldn’t be the case at all for the West Malaysians. Sabah & Sarawak have more risks on being exposed to this issue since we have more ethnics groups with different way of lives, language, culture, believes and so on. So why do you think we the Sarawakians & Sabahans managed to stop this dilemma from happening? Some say because we have a good understanding of each other, or was it because we were used for things being that way since we have inherited it way back from our ancestors? Well, god knows why but I am just simply glad and thankful for that.
Dato Sri Awang Tengah added that in Sarawak, it’s okay if there is no act on race relations because the unity and the good relations among the people of various races exist naturally. And believe it or not, we even have Muslims and Christians living in one house and there’s no problem on that. NO JOKE!!! I tell you what, I myself have experienced renting an apartment with non-muslim girls and it was one of my best and sweetest memories ever to have stayed with them. They were really kind and were much fun too. I remember one time during Ramadhan and I had to fast, the whole house is food-free. You can’t even sense the smell of food around the house because the girls refuse to eat in font of me and what not. Not that I ever mind if they do, but I guess that’s just the way of them showing respect to my believes and religion. Well I can say that I respect them more for that.
I personally believe that inter-cultural understanding should not be forced upon people but rather cultivated with time. Signing Out. TheWonderWoman.