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COMMENT | How will GPS work with Harapan?

COMMENT | As a West Malaysian, I’ve always admired how Sarawak has much better racial harmony than our side of the country.

On my first trip there in 1995, I was amazed to see a sign at the Miri market loudly advertising nasi babi (pork rice). Oh my God, how could one implement the Bahasa Kebangsaan (National Language) policy for non-halal food? But then I remembered, there are many Christian Sarawakians whose main written language is Malay.

In later years, when joining the Rainforest World Music Festival just outside Kuching, I was always bemused that beer and tuak (rice wine) flowed freely at the government-owned Sarawak Cultural Village. That could never happen at any official Kompleks Budaya in West Malaysia.

And of course, we West Malaysians (known there as orang Malaya) are amazed when we see how Muslims can sit down with their halal nasi lemak at the same Chinese kopi tiam table with non-Muslim friends – even when the latter are eating pork-laden kolo mee or kueh chap. This is mutual respect at its best.

As the late chief minister Adenan Satem said, “Malays, Chinese, Dayak, Bidayuh... we sit together, drink together, eat together and have fun together.”

Racially divisive PN

Given Sarawak’s lovely multicultural setting, it was astounding that Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) announced soon after GE15 that it wanted to team up with Perikatan Nasional (PN).

Astounding because...

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