By Karen Bong
KUCHING, Aug 22: Democratic Action Party Socialist Youth (Dapsy) Kuching has agreed and will arrange for the removal of the Chinese character stickers put up on the road signages of Jalan Main Bazaar, Wayang Street and Jalan Green Hill here.
DAP Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen explained that Dapsy Kuching chief Daphne Ting would also on Monday go to Kuching North City Commission (DBKU) to accept the compound notice(s) for the alleged vandalism offence.
“At the same time, she (Ting) will also formally present a letter of request to DBKU to urge for the restoration of the road signs with dual languages.
“To save DBKU’s money, we will also print out the Chinese character stickers for the three streets’ names and to be enclosed with the letter of request to DBKU,” he told a press conference at DAP Headquarters here today.
Admitting that the youth members may have acted overhastily, Chong, however, defended that the spirit of their actions was of good intent which was to preserve and restore the good cultures, traditions and multiculturalism in Sarawak.
“The principle for which they put up the Chinese character of the road names on the signages is to preserve and restore what was there for decades in Sarawak. Multilingual road signs had been in Sarawak for a long long time.
“It is a special feature, tradition and culture of us Sarawakians that we take great pride in and speak so proudly of. And I hope DBKU will receive it in good stride,” he emphasised.
Chong noticed that in recent years, the dual language road signs had been replaced especially by DBKU with single language signages, which signaled the slow erosion of that special legacy and tradition that Sarawak was so proud of.
“This trend was yesterday confirmed by the (Assistant Minister in the Chief Minister Department for Islamic Affairs and DBKU) Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Junaidi who had expressedly said that it is now the policy of DBKU to put up single language road signs.
“This is something that is against the spirit of multiculturalism and harmonious racial relation in Sarawak,” he said.
As such, Chong, who is also Stampin MP, urged DBKU to restore the decades-long legacy which was not not something new to begin with.
“It has been there for decades and why in the first place DBKU removed this special feature and tradition of Sarawak.
“We must celebrate the diversity that we truly practised in our daily lives, in our policies and not merely giving lip-care service with this spirit of multiculturalism,” he stressed.
On the same issue, Chong also expressed regret on certain remarks by Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) leaders who had associated this act as an act against the Constitution and National Language and even with an act of sedition.
“This sort of narrative or mentality is very typical of Umno… a manifestation of Umno ideology that they cannot tolerate the sight of something that is different.
“I hope this type of unhealthy ideology, mentality will not spread in Sarawak. As for these young echelon of PBB leaders, it seems that they are very inclined to this Umno mentality,” he added.
Chong’s special assistant Michael Kong and former Stampin MP Julian Tan were also present. -DayakDaily