I recently came across this write up and thought I would share it with you. - Eyes Wide Open
Kota Kinabalu is slightly better than Sandakan, those of you who been to KK before will understand.
Clouds over the motion along with 916 events approaching, I have an impulse to want to speak for my hometown - Sabah!! I'm not good in writing, but wishes to express myself with simple words, which are all facts & plain truth.
Many West Malaysian thinks that Sabahan are too proud of their state and that we have prejudice against West malaysian. I admit that I may have felt this way and believe that many Sabahan think so too.
Sabah, being one of the poorest state in Malaysia, is not the fault of west malaysian (the fault of the federal government) , but I am sad for the fact that west malaysian do not understand we east malaysian at all, be it Sabahan or Sarawakians. Cause they have not gone thru the hardship we east malaysians have gone thru.
East & West (Borneo & Peninsular) , both belongs to Malaysia, yet getting a different treatment.
After coming to peninsular malaysia , many west malaysians asked whether we lived on tree, even my younger sister being once mistaken a non muslim bumiputras (ie Kadazan dusun, suluk, bidauh & etc) and not a chinese. We are not natives, we do not hunt, don't eat tiger/harimau, and do not sleep in the same bed with the orang utans.
The west malaysians can't even differentiate between Sabah or Sarawak, they often they call us SabahSarawak, and I dont even bother to explain/further clarify. Anyway, I will never ask whether you are a 'KedahKelantan' or 'Melakasembilan' or 'PenangPerlis'.
I tried very hard to introduce Sabah to many friends, Sabah has housing estate, we have supermarket, disco, shipyard & dock, we also have Giant hypermarket. But such an irony, even though I lived in a brick house with proper roof/shelter, yet we hardly get electricity & water supply, we don't even have proper road or highways.
I often nag by my housemate that I did not flush after urinating and that i'm not very hygienne. After hearing this, I was shocked. I thought to myself, Why waste water with flushing after only excrete a little urine ? Then I realised that west malaysia has continuoues water supply 24/7, every minute, every second , so unlike at home!!! What a culture shock!! I was embarassed then, realising that I brought my bad habit from Sabah to KL. But you see...Our house does not have proper water supply, my mother does not allow us to flush unnecessarily.
We have water supply twice a week, once on monday, another day is on thursday. This is a norm regulation in my hometown of Sandakan. Twice a week supply because my house located on uphill, those who stay in low land gets 3-4 times of supply a week. Our watercloset WC must be very smelly then, cause we only flush after a few rounds of usage. If we finish the water supply, then you don;t have water to get a shower.
So, you want a shower or flush down your urine? take you pick. I'm sorry that you may not get to wash hair everyday or shower twice per day as you always did. we only get proper hairwash on monday & thursday.
Talk about electricity supply, we have an average of 72 hours of blackout every month, and the highest record will be a continous blackout of 8 hours everyday. Blackout not just in my hometown Sandakan, but in every city or village in Sabah. In KL, an half hours of blackout is a headline. In Sabah, even a few hours of blackout which causes massive tarffic jams will be brush aside.
I remember my west malaysian friends visited my hometown for the first time, there was a blackout and it was nighttime. So we decide to stargaze outside my house, go for a moon tanning. If I say that our moon is so bright as if it's just a arm length away, and that it's so bright that it gives us a shadow, let you recognize the different stars in the galaxie, you got to believe me!!
Anyway, all the short water supply & balckouts are so frequent, you get so numb & as if it's part of life. Dunno what else to complaint.
Sabahan are just so simple, we take things in easily. That's why the government keep bullying us, takes away our resources to development KL, sell our timber to build high rise towers in KL, drain away our oils to make NKVE, Exchange our Orang Utan for China's Panda and locate them in KL. They can donate money for the Szechuan's earthquake victims yet no money to make a proper road in Sabah, it's been like that for the last 45 years.
Sabah's first flyover has just been completed recently, it sure make us proud.
The country has abandon us, we are just like an orphan. Many a times mentioned to help probe illegal immigrants issue in Sabah. In the end, it's just being swept under the carpet. The illegal immigrants' are more than the local people now. Last year The Philipine government mentioned to take back Sabah as theirs. If decision made by voting system, we would eventually loose out cause illergal & 'legal' filipino staying in Sabah is huge in number.
Sabah not only has poor electricity & water supply, moreover we also have low job opportunity too. That's why all our young people left their homeland to search for better job in west malaysia.
Do you know that a cup of yogurt cost RM 3.70 in KL, yet Sabah is selling at RM 5.70. All our merchandise is more expensive than else where due to the transportation charges from KL. However, all profit will be 'transported' back to KL for development, and our people will have to work hard to earn a living in midst of expensive living standard.
In Sabah, We still have workers who earn RM 200 per month, worst than any janitor working in KL.
Each visit back home, you can hardly bump into young people except secondary school students. Sabah has nothing left, staying back cannot help build Sabah.
Last year, few of my fellow Sabahan insist on staying back after graduation. I was teasing them for their foolishness, cause KL has so many opportunity to grow. Why stay in Sabah?
My fellow friend said: ' If no one wishes to stay in Sabah, then Sabah will forever be un-develop!!'. I felt guilty about it, but then......There's no opportunity for me in Sabah, How can I stay back??? Last month, my cousin brother quitted his job to go back home. I curiously asked him. Salary is so low there, you sure you won't regret it?
Cousin brother said: ' KL is not home. Home is where my heart is, I'm sure there's a job for me somewhere, somehow'.
Guilt crawled into me, Cause I've plan to stay here for good. But now I have been awaken, eventhough i'm in peninsular malaysia, I'll still be concerned about home.
Sabah, The land below the wind, beautiful as being quoted. If with proper planning & development, i'm sure it'll be one of the finest. Sadly, that's not the case. That's why all non-Sabahan needs to declare when enter Sabah. The custom office instructs that all have to leave within 30 days. If Sabah don't protect themselves, things will be even worst than current situation.
For many years, Sabah has always been mysterious to outside world. Nobody wishes to come to Sabah, as if we are jungle people, an uncivilised world. Those being sent by national service to Sabah will cry their hearts out as if being given the death sentence. Sabah, a paradise or an uncivilised world? if you've been here, you will be able to testify.
The peninsular has 3 major race, we have 32 different races. These facts many do not know.
East malaysia is and has one of the most harmonious people group , these....many also do not know.
In Sabah, Muslim can work as a waiter in a chinese shop. You only waiter, we won't ask you to touch non halal food. Muslim can also eat at chinese seafood restaurant. Seafood restaurant which sells only seafood, no non halal food popping out even on popular demand.
We trust each other, respecting each other. I bet you dont see this anywhere else in Malaysia.
Recently Giant hypermarket invaded Sabah market, UMNO tried to further drain up of it's wealth, trying to control our economy. Too bad, we have rejected you.
We have our own newspapers, our own 'mini' market, please dont wear a mask to try take away our already petty resources left.
The country has abandon Sabah, even the historical date of 'Malaysia' formation on 16th Sept is being marginalised. Sometimes they will exclaimed that the highest peak in south east asia, Mt Kinabalu.... is the pride of the nation. But I say that Mt Kinabalu, is the pride of Sabah. Rafflesia, the largest flower in the world, found in Borneo, the pride of Sabah. The going extinct Orang Utan, found only in Borneo, also the pride of Sabah.
Regretly, I don't feel proud of being part of Malaysia.
As a Sabahan, I pray that the government will uphold justice & peace for it's people. Not just the 3 major races, but also all the unique races found in Sabah & Sarawak.
I hope september 16 will be declare a national public holiday, not just in Sabah & sarawak.
Sabah, The land below the wind..... my homeland, may you rise up & grow !!!