People are strange. They are constantly angered by trivial things, but on a major matter like totally wasting their lives, they hardly seem to notice.

– Charles Bukowski, American-German poet

Just unbelievable. I mean, what on earth were they thinking?

I am talking about the publicity stunt by Sarawak Democratic Action Party (DAP) who apparently took it upon themselves to install Chinese characters on a road sign here in Kuching recently.

As the local dialect would put it, it is a textbook example of cari pasal (looking for trouble).

DAP Socialist Youth said in a Facebook post that they had to act on it after the Chinese characters at Jalan Main Bazaar, Wayang Street and Jalan Greenhill were “for some reasons had been omitted by the council”.

Correct me if I’m wrong but, being a civilian who had neither obtained permission and not being an appointed officer of the local council to instal the road signs, isn’t that outright vandalism?

And for what? What exactly do you hope to accomplish? Easier road navigation? I mean, all of us should be literate enough to understand the big road sign which is not even a Malay word.

The Malay part of Jalan Main Bazaar, Wayang Street and Jalan Greenhill is the ‘Jalan’ and if anyone struggles to understand what that means, let me clear it up for you, it means road.

Don’t let the harmless nature of “just sticking Chinese characters on a road sign” fool you; the people also view this as seditious. And they should.

Just as local politician Miro Simuh said a few days ago, the DAP is rapidly losing track of its direction and trust among the voters.

And no wonder, it is with publicity stunts like this that the party can fulfil the needs of their supporters for self gratification. Truly, they are a special kind.

I mean, doesn’t the usual stuff work anymore? You know, making promises that will never be fulfilled, going a righteous crusade, the normal stuff?

Sarawak DAP has managed to escape scrutiny all this while with them only being a spectator. Like every other people to the current federal and state government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, the current economic uncertainties, of course there are criticisms coming from the Sarawak DAP camp, but so far it is all bark and no bite.

But apparently that didn’t last long as they too wanted their day in public.

Sarawakians have been right to take them to task with them even saying that it is high time to kick the party out come the 12th state election.

What the Sarawak DAP is doing is creating a mountain out of a molehill, trying to pull a rabbit out of a hat and establishing some semblance of relevancy which is rapidly slipping away from their grips.

I totally understand Padungan assemblyman Wong King Wei’s decision to call it quits from the party. Any right-thinking person will not be able to stomach what it is doing to carry its politics.

Playing up racial issues, issues regarding Jawi and now Chinese characters has no place in Sarawak. Although it works in Malaya, I doubt it will have the same effect here.

This DAP-101, stirring up the hornet’s nest and playing victim when they get themselves stung. Classic.

It worked then but it won’t work now.

Just as their repeated malicious intent to pit one race with another to score brownie points when they recently claimed that Muafakat Nasional (MN), which is said to be joined by Bersatu, would sideline Dayaks.

These people don’t speak for Dayaks. Their claim of being a party to champion the cause of Dayaks is nothing more than just a window dressing.

Similarly, being two sides of the same coin, Parti Sarawak Bersatu (PSB) also saw it fit to play up racial issues by dangling a carrot to voters on the prospect of a Dayak chief minister.

Their supposed Dayak chief minister candidate is said to be Baru Bian, but a question that needs answering is that won’t his superior and longtime party president Datuk Seri Wong Soon Koh fancy a crack at the chief minister position?

And for clarity sake, who is actually PSB chief minister candidate? Is it Baru or Wong?

But that is beside the point. The point is racial politics has no place in Sarawak.

The opposition parties are apparently scrapping the bottom of the barrel for issues to harp on.

In all honesty, the reason for why it still gains traction is that racism sells, hatred sells and pettiness sells.

We should be better than that.