KUCHING, Sept 29: Sarawakians are urged to do away with the “Sarawak for Sarawakians” sentiment because it would further fragment Malaysians as a whole and hinder efforts of Malaysia Baru to move forward.
Deputy Minister of Women, Family and Community Development Hannah Yeoh said it was already a problem that some Malaysians were discriminated because of race and religion, and now the Sarawak for Sarawakians sentiment further discriminates Malaysians regionally.
The last time Yeoh attempted to enter Sarawak was during the 2016 state election. She was barred at Sibu Airport and had to fly back to Kuala Lumpur the same day.
“I didn’t pay a lot of attention to Sarawak before because I thought we were not needed here, especially the sentiment at the time was Sarawak for Sarawakians only,” she said, reminiscing that day.
She said she personally could not accept the sentiment, and at the time told her party leaders and then chief minister, the late Pehin Sri Adenan Satem, openly that the sentiment was unacceptable and hard to believe.
“I find it hard to believe or accept or hard to swallow simply because when I joined politics in 2008, my aim was to fight corruption and race-based administration because race-based at the heart of it is discrimination.
“At that time, I think Malaysians have divided enough already. Let’s start building on a common platform and let us stop talking about what divides us. Let’s start building as a nation,” said Yeoh.
She said when she said that to Adenan at the time, many Sarawakians were unhappy with her statement.
“Anybody who says otherwise would be wiped out. So, I said I just focus my energy elsewhere and do other things,” she added.
Yeoh also urged Sarawakians to safeguard Malaysia Baru protectively and fiercely because it took a long time to gain. They should not just leave everything to Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and Putrajaya. — DayakDaily