Malaysia desperately needs a new perspective and a new narrative to rid itself of the 60-year yoke of regressive policies and politicking that has stifled its advancement. Race, religion and identity politics still dominate the national narrative. The solution to these destructive politics will not come from the peninsula. It is Sabah and Sarawak, with its history of racial harmony and religious tolerance that we must look to for new perspectives, direction, and leadership. Talk of ketuanan Melayu and the supremacy of one race or religion is anathema to the people of Borneo states. These West Malaysian narratives have presented a real threat to the racial and religious harmony we have enjoyed in East Malaysia. In Sabah and Sarawak, there is no concept of a single dominant race, as we are all citizens of the nation called Malaysia with equal rights. Sabah and Sarawak did not join Malaysia, the two states were equal partners in its formation. Malaya, Sabah and Sarawak gave birth to this nation together; without Sabah and Sarawak, there is no Malaysia. It is time the federal government acknowledges the massive contribution of Sabah and Sarawak, especially its oil resources, to the wealth of the nation.
The book gives insight into the feelings of East Malaysians who hope that there will be greater progress towards giving them control over their own affairs.
Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kassim
Founder of G25
Joe Samad courageously tackles all the sensitive subjects that have divided East and West Malaysia…This book will provoke the much-needed conversation for a harmonious, prosperous nation.’
George Town Institute of Open and Advanced Studies
The erudite, measured and insightful views of a Malaysian and a Sabahan as he unravels and analyses the various threads that make up the Malaysian tapestry.
The Malaysian Insight
All Malaysians would do well to hear Joe Samad’s cry if we want Malaysia to succeed.
Former diplomat and author