By Kelvin Yii
A few years back, I first wrote about and championed the concept of “Sarawakians for Sarawak” instead of the current sentiment of “Sarawak for Sarawakians”.
A concept that embraces and welcomes rather than divide. An ideology which does not label, segregate or even marginalise, but harnesses the potential in all of us.
An ideology that challenges us all Sarawakians to give back to our state whether in politics, economics, education and every other major sphere of influence.
Sarawakians, in political parties no matter where its origin, fighting for our rights and claiming autonomy to run things in our own state which we know best.
Sarawakians, who will not just push for autonomy but also the betterment of quality in education to better educate our young.
Sarawakians who will do our best in whatever work that is mandated to us and not take shortcuts, and most importantly Sarawakians who will not exploit the riches of our own land for the interest of self.
We often pride ourselves in the unity and tolerance we have in the state, but yet even with this advantage and stepping stone, we need to honestly ask ourselves why are we still far behind in terms of development and even basic necessities?
Why aren’t we ahead even though we have the edge?
Maybe we should look introspectively and not just extrospectively by only throwing the blame on the external.
Instead of just lamenting on what we have not received, but also honestly reflecting on governance we have over what we have been given and own.
I am a firm believer of the future and potential of my beloved state. I am all for state pride, but, not for these sentiments to be hijacked to strengthen a corrupt regime.
As we celebrate Sarawak’s independence, let us make sure we will not be chained by any sentiments that will hinder us from the bigger picture.
Why think small, when we can think BIG?
Why settle for isolation, when we have the potential to influence a bigger sphere?
Why rely on protectionism and even entitlement, when we have the in-born capacity to compete and excel?
For indeed, if all Sarawakians rise up and look beyond divisive sentiments to give back and build our state, there are endless limits and new frontiers we can achieve as a whole.
Short-sightedness has held us back and caused our state enough damage already…
Dum Spiro Spero – “While I breathe, I hope.”
Agi idup agi ngelaban!
Happy Sarawak Independence Day!
Kelvin Yii is special assistant to Sarawak DAP chairman Chong Cheng Jen.
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