Abang Johari: The use of the word “Timah” is a non-issue in Sarawak

Abang Johari (fourth right) receiving a memento from Miri City Council mayor Adam Yii as appreciation for launching the new Miri City hall while Dr Sim (second left) looks on. Photo: Sarawak Information Department

MIRI, Nov 15: Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Abang Johari Tun Openg believes that the “Timah” issue is too trivial and it is not Sarawak’s culture to play out such issue that only serves to create divisions and quarrels among the people.

He called on Sarawakians to maintain the culture of unity and racial harmony for the prosperity of Sarawak.

Citing the name of a whiskey, Timah, that has created a ‘brouhaha’ in Peninsular Malaysia recently, he urged Sarawakians not to let the culture in Peninsular Malaysia to be inseminated into Sarawak by supporting Peninsular-based political parties.

“That side is always quarrelling, even (the use of the word) ‘Timah’, has became a problem.

“It (Timah) does not only mean a woman’s name as ‘timah’ can also be a tin.

“These small things became sensitive — for us, no problem,” he said during the launching of the new Miri City Hall building here today.

Abang Johari who is also Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) chairman added the GPS government respects all religions in the State as the Christian congregations in Sarawak are allowed to use the word “Allah” in their worship unlike in Peninsular Malaysia.

He added the leaders in Sarawak must be sensitive to all the races in the state.

To recap, some quarters in Peninsular Malaysia have raised the issue of a brand of whisky called Timah last month over its name.

The manufacturer of Timah, Winepak Corporation Sdn Bhd, was subsequently asked to change the name of the alcoholic beverage.

On Nov 13, Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Alexander Nanta Linggi said the Timah issue was solved and the Cabinet has agreed to allow the company to keep the name for its product.

Meanwhile, Minister for Local Government and Housing Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian also stressed that Sarawak needs to maintain autonomy of local government to prevent issues such as Timah and the operation of number forecast operators, which are issues in Peninsular Malaysia, to spread to Sarawak.

“With this, it is important that Sarawak decides what we want to do on our own.

“This is so that we do not have to worry about Timah or 4D. We decide our own journey,” he said.

Apart from that, Dr Sim said the GPS government under the leadership of Abang Johari is an inclusive government.

He said that the GPS government has provided special allocations, which was the first of its kind, to support the operating costs of non-Muslim houses of worship under the Unit for Other Religions (Unifor) during the Covid-19 pandemic. — DayakDaily