Thursday, July 23, 2009


Alright, this a very serious. Mind your perception. What is perception? It is one of the components that forms concepts in short. Although abstract, we're using it everyday. With perception, the speed of us making decisions can be much faster. Our senses are pretty much facilitated by our perception such as distance judging. For example, when you hold on to something hot you sense the heat. And the next time you see the same thing again, your mind tells you "Careful, HOT". In other words, it helps us to relate. Another example, when you see a red heart, you may relate it to love.
But, that's not what I'm trying to say here.
What I'm saying is that, even after 46 years Sarawak joined the Federal of Malaya, some people (West Malaysians) still have this perception that East Malaysia is a very very very very very (need I add in some more "very"s?) underdeveloped place. The most often heard one would be, "People there still live on trees ar?" The truth is, even though we really have many virgin forests, we have many tribes, but most of the tribes are now opened to education etc. Ok, if you think that some of the Bumis still live in Longhouses, yes, they do. And NO, I have not known anyone who lives on a tree in Sarawak yet.
And like I said, this live on tree topic is already too "outdated" and I believe since now "Everyone can fly" and fly to Sarawak, this myth should have been justified. The more interesting one that I hear today is...a West Malaysian asked a Sarawakian, "Are you used to wearing shoes here?"
Well, this question is not pointed to me obviously. And luckily it wasn't or else that person could have tasted my shoes! Come on, this is so TOTALLY ridiculous!!! Who says Sarawakians don't wear shoes? I know I'm overreacting but I can't accept it unless the logic is,
Premise 1. Sarawakians live on trees.
Premise 2. Sarawakians need to climb trees.
Premise 3. Wearing shoes makes it hard for us to climb trees.
Conclusion: Sarawakians are not used to wearing shoes.
I don't know what was portrayed in our Geography textbooks or what the Geo teacher has taught this innocent child (anyway, I just hear the story and I don't even know who this person is) but that is really an assault to all the shoestores, department stores and even hypermalls that sell shoes in Sarawak, not to forget the millions of people who wear shoes in Sarawak. Let me clarify myself. I have been wearing shoes since I was two. Too bad I don't have the photo with me now. But I have a more recent one and it was taken in Bau, Sarawak.

These (circled in red) are not shoes. These are sandals and yes, that's very weird because how come a community which does not wear shoes is able to differentiate between shoes and sandals?

Ok, perhaps this picture is more familiar to those who have not been to Sarawak. Ibans in their traditional costumes is widely portrayed in most Geography books, or advertisements. Largely, that's what shapes the perception. But in this picture, all the girls are in sandals or slippers.
Also, note that our roads are tarred! Other than that, no need for me to explain on the buildings/infrastructures etc. The internet is soooo convenient these days that anyone can find info about Sarawak or Sabah at the tip of fingers.

See? It's good to learn more. Be humble, like this uncle :)


At 11:13 PM, Blogger curryegg said...

You have written a good post and good message to 'those' who have no idea on the Sarawakian.. =P

But.. can I laugh another time?
hahaahhahahahahaha XD

"Bei Shan, you wear sandal kah?"

At 10:28 AM, Blogger sjune said...

u gonna make me notice your shoe everytime you go to class lol

At 9:16 AM, Blogger Shan said...

Kelly: I hope i deliver my message clear enough :p or else will mislead people, which is even worse. YES KELLY...I wear sandals, and shoes and slippers and sometimes high-heels too. Next time I should take a photo of my shoe collection :D

June:Normally I wear the same shoes/sandals to class la, more convenient and also not many people take note. But if I don't wear them some day, that might catch the attention of others...

At 8:18 PM, Blogger sjune said...

i had experiences of not wearing shoes in college, because my shoes are wet/spoilt. walked bare foot all the way from porch to my room hahaha.

luckily it was night time, not many people.

At 7:30 PM, Blogger Shan said...

Luckily it's only for a while or ppl will start asking u haha...i don't mind to go on bare feet if the floor is clean.

At 12:54 AM, Blogger ҜЄhz ^^**Ψ**♀♂ said...

haha.... love ur post.. should ask u to help me write on something about sabah since u have been there.. =P

At 12:11 AM, Blogger Shan said...

I think people who have not been to East Malaysia generally think that Sabah and Sarawak are almost the same. So, whatever story they apply to Sarawak, they'll apply to Sabah too...Oh, I'm going to post about my trip to Sabah some time later ;)

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