Checking the messy 5-foot way at Kota Sentosa
SUPP Public Complaints Bureau (PCB) Chief cum Kota Sentosa Chairman Wilfred Yap have recently been receiving many complaints and requests for his assistance in respect of encroachment onto five-foot ways through illegal extensions by shop owners and stray rabid dogs. Both issues are currently being attended to by him.
This lead Wilfred Yap to recollecting a story recently told to him that five-foot ways of shophouses were first conceived by Stamford Raffles to keep the white men safe from rabid dogs that trolled the streets in Colonial Singapore. Unlikely the story may be, but it could very well be an allegory of the current state of affairs in Sarawak, and there are lessons that we can draw from the five-foot ways, rabid dogs and the White Man.
This feature has become what we know as the “five-foot way” or “kaki lima” in Malay or “goh kah kit” in Hockien. Even today, pedestrians benefit from this innovation as they walk through the continuous rows of shop houses down most old streets in Kuching, Sarawak. Wilfred Yap is always thankful for the five-foot ways that keep him safe from passing vehicles, the weather and perhaps even rabid dogs whenever he walk down the old shophouses in Kota Sentosa Bazaar.
Pilihan Raya Umum Ke-14 (PRU-14) is over but the noise, banter and antics are not. Political leaders are lampooned for fake degrees from diploma mills even as black school shoes are hurled ballistically. While the most eminent of them has embarked on building his new political party cloned from the very one that had sacked him, his mentee-turned-nemesis has taken to the open roads on his mean machine under the persona of ’Malu Apa Bossku‘. However, it is time for a stop to rhetorics and for all elected politicians, especially those from Sarawak to stop growling and foaming at the mouth like rabid dogs, and start thinking, planning and working for the benefit of all Sarawakians.
In Sarawak, we must ensure that our special rights enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) are protected and safeguarded. The five-foot way represents MA63, and Wilfre Yap maintains that it is worth fighting for. In George Orwell’s political novella, Animal Farm, the revolution merely replaced one hegemony with another with no Utopia in sight. This may seem true of GE14, and it is all the more reason why we, Sarawakians should stand up for our own rights. Wilfred Yap does not believe that some animals should remain more equal than others – rabid dogs should have no place in our society!
Wilfred Yap hopes Sarawakian political leaders, especially those in Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) despite the “termites in GPS” will close ranks, rise to the occasion and do what is right and honourable to ensure a lasting legacy and a good name for GPS in fighting for the return of Sarawak’s rights and entitlements.
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