KUCHING: The spirit of multi-culturalism in Sarawak should not be relegated to merely being a lip service; instead it should be reflected in the actions and policies of the government, said Bandar Kuching MP Dr Kelvin Yii.
He said, however, in any discourse or disagreement, efforts must be taken to resolve it amicably by discussing it with respect and dignity.
“I do not believe in double standards. When a law is broken, respect the due process and those responsible ought to cooperate and take responsibility for the wrongdoing.
“Multi-culturalism should be promoted to unite, and not to divide. It is my personal hope that even in our disagreements, we do not succumb to extreme sentiments that divide us or break us apart, especially as we uphold the spirit of multi-culturalism, and pluralism, including preserving our heritage and racial and religious tolerance that is very dear to us,” he said in a Facebook post last Friday (Aug 21).
He was responding to a recent incident in which Democratic Action Party Socialist Youth (Dapsy) members affixed Chinese characters on a few road signs in the city, causing uproar on social media.
Dr Yii said to avoid misunderstandings in future, decisions such as the sudden switch to mono-lingual road signs need to be discussed with local stakeholders.
“In the past, most street names especially in the area (Kuching) were in dual languages, but the sudden switch to using one language has caused consternation especially to those that holds multi-culturalism dear to their heart.
“In my view, this basically reflects a lack of consultation by the council with the local residents. Indeed, we are of the view that such incidents could be avoided if councils genuinely consult more with local ratepayers,” he said.
He added that in the first-place better consultation and representation in the local councils would lead to improved decisions that will be agreeable to all, including decisions on the road signs.