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Madius's ‘other Malaysia’ brand doesn’t represent Sabah, Sarawak’s place in nation, say leaders
Published on: Thursday, April 04, 2024
By: FMT, Liew Yen Rou
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Madius's ‘other Malaysia’ brand doesn’t represent Sabah, Sarawak’s place in nation, say leaders
DAP MP Dr Kelvin Yii says East Malaysian leaders should take on a more prominent role in leading ‘the whole of Malaysia’.
PETALING JAYA: Two East Malaysian leaders have disagreed with a suggestion that Sabah and Sarawak brand themselves as “the Other Malaysia” in the wake of issues like the “Allah” socks controversy, saying this would not accurately reflect their part in the nation.

The suggestion was made by Upko’s Wilfred Madius Tangau, who said this might help Sabah and Sarawak avoid being tarnished by divisive issues in the peninsula.

DAP’s Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii said the two states should instead take on a more prominent role in leading “the whole of Malaysia”.

“While we understand the sensitivities of these issues, many other matters deserve our full focus, especially rebuilding our economy, pushing for good governance and ensuring that our region is not left out of proper development,” Yii said.

Warisan vice-president Junz Wong agreed, saying Malaysia would only progress if politicians shift their focus to important issues that can benefit the nation.

He said the people of Sabah and Sarawak would only agree to be “identified differently” for the purpose of better federal policies and budgets to improve the Bornean states.

“There is so much evidence that we are being discriminated (against) and sidelined, and that so many (people) are systematically marginalised,” he said.

Yii said the nation should celebrate diversity and strengthen its abilities as a multicultural society instead of creating divisions whenever such scenarios arise.

Meanwhile, Movement for Change Sarawak founder Francis Paul Siah said issues like the KK Mart controversy had never previously erupted into violence in Sabah and Sarawak due to the religious and racial harmony in the states.

“Religion is not so much of a dividing factor (in Sabah and Sarawak), but a unifying factor. That’s why (the two states are) different (from Peninsular Malaysia),” Siah said.

He said he was shocked to hear of the recent petrol bomb attack on a KK Mart outlet in Kuching, adding that extremism “should not have come into Sarawak”.

The Kuching incident was the third such attack on the convenience store chain in a week, after KK Mart outlets in Bidor, Perak, and Kuantan, Pahang, were similarly pelted with petrol bombs.

The petrol bomb thrown at the shop in Bidor on March 26 failed to explode, while the one in Kuantan on March 29 set several items on fire, although the blaze was immediately doused by KK Mart workers.

KK Mart has been mired in controversy since March 13 when socks with the word “Allah” were discovered at its Bandar Sunway outlet, sparking calls by Umno Youth for a nationwide boycott of the chain.

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