Cries of a Sarawakian

Picture from FMT – for illustration only

LETTER

Alexander Sebastian Ngau

I am truly proud to be a Sarawakian and would not give it up for anything in this world.

Sarawakians are made up of a diverse group of people who are rich in culture and heritage and made up of those who are kind, caring and very down to earth.

Due to the large area, numerous parts of Sarawak remain undeveloped and a number of our people do not have a sound education.

Unfortunately, because of this, we have been victimised and often treated as fools by those in the Peninsula and also our very own state government.

I wonder how a large number of Sarawakians do not even have piped water and electricity while our Sarawakian politicians are literally drowning in money.

I have personally witnessed how my parents were cheated of their ancestral land and ended up losing everything – all because they could not read and write.

It is a really sad tale, but one many Sarawakians are all too familiar with.

One reason for this could be the greed and corruption of our politicians whom I only used to meet once every five years.

I lived in a village which was two days drive from the nearest city, which was Miri.

I was lucky enough to complete my tertiary education and with the help of my cousins continued my studies in the Peninsula and graduated.

However, many in my village did not have this privilege and till today, they are there working the fields, being cheated and taken for a ride by unscrupulous agents and politicians.

It is really shocking and truly saddening that our own Sarawakians would want to pull the rugs from under their own people’s feet and steal the very little we have.

For years we were promised electricity and piped water, but till today, this problem continues to exist in various parts of Sarawak.

A large portion of the state does not have internet connectivity and I am sure that when this Covid-19 pandemic is over, Sarawakians are going to be the biggest losers.

The reason for this is simple. Those in the urban areas can still follow their studies online and are not so left behind, but the same does not apply for the rest.

Number one, many do not have internet, while some cannot even afford a television set. Secondly, many students have been forced to help their parents make ends meet during this pandemic and very unlikely will return to school.

Third, when school finally resumes, these students in the rural areas are going to be so left behind, they will eventually drop out of school also.

Another worry is how is the government going to ensure all Sarawakians get the Covid-19 vaccine.

It is all rubbish talk from our Chief Minister that no Sarawakian is going to be left out. For one, many of us have read that the vaccine has to be stored in below freezing temperatures before it can be administered.

Kindly tell me how the government is going to achieve this in the rural areas of Sarawak. It scares me to think what kind of fate Sarawakians are going to suffer in the end.

Just look how rich the former Chief Minister of Sarawak is. I am sure he has enough wealth to bring power and water to a large portion of those in need.

Sorry to say, the rich continue to grow richer and the poor will continue to grow poorer. The only solace for people like my parents and the many more like them is that they are honest, God fearing, hardworking people.

Their rewards will not be of this world, but of the next. For now, all we can do is cry and watch the corrupt, greedy ones continue to rob us.

Alexander Sebastian Ngau, from Miri, Sarawak is a reader and his views do not represent those of this portal

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