One of the biggest eye openers for me this year is being a part of Astro AWANI’s programme Ceritalah Malaysia with Karim Raslan. Travelling around Malaysia, we got to hear the stories from Middle Malaysia (or what I like to believe is the true Malaysia, as opposed to Klang Valley Malaysians!).
One story which I feel deserves being told (over and over again) is the one about Sijah Ejut, the Iban tuai rumah (village head) from Sibu, Sarawak. And it is only apt that I this story get focused on now. This is especially so when allegations on corrupt Sarawak leaders are surfacing on how indigenous land is being sold for huge profits (utilising devious legal techniques to make even more profit!).
Sijah Ejut comes from a village just 30km from the town of Sibu. We met her in town, then took a drive with her to pay a visit to her village. And things got interesting as soon as the drive started.
Driving out of the well-developed Sibu, the roads are fine and the highway smooth. About 10 minutes out, the roads suddenly disappear and everything turns into gravel. Our sedan cars suddenly started suffering and we immediately regretted stinging on normal cars instead of renting SUVs or 4WDs to get us around. [Click to read the rest of the article at English.AstroAwani.Com]