Chinese name for Sibu? Bumiputera leaders see red

(Bernama) – Bumiputera community leaders are not happy over a plan by the United Chinese Association (UCA) here to seek a new Chinese name for the town.  

A front-page report in a local Bahasa Malaysia daily Utusan Borneo today quoted their leader, Temenggong Datuk Wan Hamid Edruce Tuanku Mohammad, as saying they were unhappy that “a number of sensitive issues” had been raised lately.    

“Give us a little respect and do not hurt our feelings.”

“We have been around for a long long time. Sibu is not going to be our second home,” he said.

He made the statement yesterday together with Pemamca Sharifah Mariam, Temenggong Sir Adrian Ringgau and Pemanca Wilfred Kiroh of the Iban community, Penghulu Shari Ubu of the Melanau community, and others.

UCA president Datuk Lau Nai Hoh had recently proposed for the new name.

He said in Chinese, Sibu was known as “Shi Wu” but the second word or “Wu” was a witch.   

Wan Hamid said the community should have been consulted first over any proposal for changes and especially when they involved mutual rights.    

“Sad to say, we have never been consulted. We are not against the government or any of its policies.”

“But when sensitive issues regarding church, temple, mosque or cemeteries are concerned, we will appreciate it if we are consulted for our views,” he said.    

He said even many road names here had been changed lately without any consultation with them.