Wilfred Gaban, Wikisabah
We Sabahans must stop acting like little kids. Stop worrying how big daddy will cut off your allowance, or change his will and not give you any property such as land or house. We must step up to the plate and declare that we are self-reliant. We have to take responsibility for our actions and our future. Inevitably, we are on our own and we ought to learn to stand on our own two feet without relying on mommy and daddy to bail us out.
Many among us have become naive in mind and spirit. Allowing fear to create a philosophy of no can do. Where others see opportunity, we see hardship. When push to a corner we capitulate and succumbed to appeasement. When confronted, we find excuses for timidity. When described as cowards we justify our behaviour as preserving life and use God to justify our weakness. Such traits have gotten us a raw deal with Malaya.However, such traits are good if appreciated. The problem was, we were never appreciated in a respectable manner. Instead, we were marked for marginalization. Being innocent in worldly affairs, our people always wears a pleasant smile because our natural world is beautiful and naturally peaceful. Indeed, living in a “Land below the wind” does have its advantages.
People tend to expect a longer life expectancy, build a larger family, and take a laid back attitude for there is no rush to undertake or overtake anything. The land is rich with eatable wild plants, healing herbs, one of a kind creature, and filled with valuable sources of energy such as oil and gas. Life is great, so it seems!
In our slumber, we become complacent. When other societies around the world had to learn and adapt to their harsh environment, they also learnt to improve their human condition and ingenuity. Thus, they became more sophisticated and advanced than those that seldom went through catastrophic trials in life. In short, Sabahans had to be content with the status quo for a long time because we were programmed to feel contented within our narrow sphere of existence.
That explains how little have changed in our society and our communities over 20 years. We were never progressive because we were excluded from the executive planning committee. We were controlled by a political bundestag that spouts supremacy of race and religion, while foolishly ignoring nature’s common sense.
The ultimate puzzle lies with us. We are a people who have become reliant on government to feed us. Not that we wanted to be fed by government, but because we are living in poverty, therefore, we have no choice but to rely on government. Hand outs are common place in our society. Hand outs are a welcome gesture, but a hand out is also a tool of the devil that may be. Living in poverty makes us an easy target for hand outs. If use by the dark forces for unscrupulous intent then we are doomed.
The trick is to not put ourselves within the confines of poverty. This is the challenge of a leader. A leader who cares for the people must find a solution that would elevate the standard of living of the people. A good leader will guarantee that the people are well cared for.
Too many of our past leaders did not meet these standards of leadership. Being of poor disposition, a position of leadership put them in a frenzy to enrich themselves instead of finding a solution that is good for everyone. These are the quality of leaderships we have had for so many years. The cycle of bad leadership could not be broken because the yoke of poverty continues to elude us. People vote for the same leadership repeatedly because they have been program by the poverty mind-set to expect better things for so little.
It is not uncommon to meet a person in the kampong who tells you that he or she is satisfied with what they have. That, although, life was hard, he or she is thankful that they have something to eat. That if there were no foods at the pantry they can always rely on the jungle to provide food (makes me wonder what will they do if the jungle is gone.). So whenever a wealthy personality comes along and give hard cash they see it a treasure worthy of their votes. This ignorant programming is bolstered by a government whose agenda are bias and bigoted for a selfish ambition.
Therefore, here comes the story of the good versus the evil. For those of us who understand the matrix involved and wishes to change for the better, we will stand and struggle for the good side. Those that served a selfish and bigoted agenda stand on the evil side. Evil somehow tends to be stronger because they have no qualms in using whatever means to achieve their agenda. So the good had to struggle to the brink of exhaustion just to get even. The evil side always have the upper hand, whiles the good side has to rely on the people’s sense of justice and integrity to build a strong foundation. For the good, it is a hazardous journey, but for the evil it is a game of chance and slight of hand. The good does not gamble, whilst the evil is a gambler with a gun.