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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

IJOK - What Really Took Place on Saturday

Please click the image to see details.


wis said...

Mr Angus, good day to you sir,

I stumbled upon your blog while reading MT...I like your theme for the MalaysiaWatch. Thus I hope you don't mind me dropping a couple of comments here, on something which have bothered me for a while..this is about the attitudes of West Malaysians in general toward Sarawak ingenious people like myself.

You see sir, I am from an Iban tribe; which is actually the biggest population in Sarawak. From our perspectives we think we formed Malaysian together with the then Federation of Malaya, Singapore and Sabah. Without Sabah and Sarawak there wasn't any Malaysia, this is at least how we over there like to look at it.

My family and I have been living in Kuala Lumpur for 10 years now and through this period, I am constantly disappointed by the sheer ignorance of many West Malaysians on the existence of other tribes apart from Melayu, Cina, India. It continuously disgusted me to say the least that West Malaysians on the street, in the coffee shops, even a saleman for DELL computer, would assume people like me to be a foreigner since we are neither Malay nor Chinese nor Indian. Every time this happens, I want to lecture them or downright scold them for having that little coconut head taking like a frog living inside.

Comments like these are common:

"awak indon kah?"

"pilipina kah?"

"Combadia kah?"

"when you going back to your country?"

or how about the shopekeepers who automatically speak chinese or cantonese to us at coffee shops..and the moment you dun speak chinese back to them..wahlau they have just seen a "foreigner"..

My wife went to a bank few months back, she and wanted to open an ASB account for my 12 years old son, the bank clerk said, "have to open in Sarawak". When she asked why, the clerk said to confirm eligibilty i.e. the bumi status...of course you know my son is not named Ahmad, Kassim or Abu but some christain names...I am yet to go to that bank and give the clerk or the bank manager or any official from ASB a piece of my mind...this is crazy...sheer discrimination...we are the majority inhabitants of Sarawak, our state bring huge oil and timbers revenues to the country...and yet we can't even get treated properly in Malaya...I am angry sir. Where does it go so wrong?

When I have finshed being angry, I guess it is not so much their faults though. But how I wish there is a little more appreciation of Sarawak, the people and the land, the non muslim natives, who are as much bumiputras.

H J Angus said...

Hi wis
Thanks for the comments.
Since U r a good artist I suggest U draw a cartoon of an Iban in tribal gear in the ASB office trying to explain your request to the clerk who is shocked and puzzled.

People prefer to look at pictures rather than read long passages.

Bernard said...

Hi H Angus, I enjoyed your recent cartoon illustrations in portraying current events. I believe it is an effective medium in capturing the essence of your message so succintly. Keep it up!
I do agree with wis "..this is about the attitudes of West Malaysians in general toward Sarawak ingenious people like myself." It was about 10 years ago that I met an acquaintance, Peter Nise, who was then working with FAMA in Johor Bahru. As he spoke good Malay, my initial impression of him was that he was a Malay. But discovered later he is a fair Bidayuh of humble and gentle mannerisms befitting his name.
His given name is Nise anak Manis. After his stint in Johor, he was transferred back to Kuching. Some years later, I had the opportunity of visiting him in Kuching. Somehow, I lost touch with him but hope to be able to meet him again in the near future.
Just today I received a call enquiring rental of my house. As the speaker spoke in Malay, I thought he was an Indonesian. He gave a name that sounded like Edwo. But later I discovered that he came down from KL to work in JB. When he said that he was from Sarawak, I asked if he was an Iban or Bidayuh. He said Iban. When asked again he spelt his name as Edward.
My first impression of indigenious people from Borneo has been based on my first friendship with one. It has left an indelible mark on me of the kind and gentle-natured folks from East M'sia.
God bless all Malaysians!

H J Angus said...

hi bernard
thanks for the kind words.

Somehow W Malaysians have lost that gentle streak - maybe we have become too caught up in the rat race with the "dog eat dog" environment esp in business and even on the roads.

I hope readers will bear with the amatuerish cartoons. My last art class was in Primary 3 or 4 and it is about 20 years since I last drew anything apart from engineering drawings.

shamsuddin said...

Mr Angus and Mr Wis,
Good that I also stumbled onto this site. My comment is more directed toward Mr. Wis.
I was lucky enough having had the opportunity of working in Sarawak for quite a number of years. Prior to that I had a few friends from the state. It is a question of ignorance I suppose. When you're in the majority, you never bother to know about others or take the trouble to learn about others as long as there is no real pressing necessity for it. It is the same thing, mind you, my Sarawakian friends still call me Orang Malaya! I just hope with increasing cross travels across the South China Sea, the gap would eventually be bridged. It was worse when I was first posted to Kuching 20 years ago. My parents thought I wouldn't be able to live there, I would be poisoned, charmed, or something like that. With increasing exposure, this kind of insularity would be eradicated. I believe the last years's Merdeka celebration really opened up a lot of Orang Malayas'eyes as what Sarawak and Sarawakians are. The pace maybe a bit slow, but it is moving.
Thank you

H J Angus said...

Thanks for your comments and you are most welcomed here.

Today's society is really one big rat race, especially in the cities where even people of the same race hardly interact outside a small circle.

One has to reach out to others before people respond and thankfully many Malaysians are still quite friendly once they know you.

As a Eurasian, I too am a minority here and I have had my own problems. I suggest people can join a nearby ToastMasters Club to enlarge their circle of friends and associates.
It will also help develop leadership and communication skills.