QUICK TAKE: There is a short 2-min 17-sec amateur video clip doing the rounds online showing a group of PDRM officers, both men and women, singing their hearts out a traditional Christmas song – “White Christmas”.
You might wonder why this should be strange at all.
For Sarawakians, this is as normal as it can get. The people in the state are real and genuine in celebrating each other’s religious festivals. For Malays and Muslims in Sarawak to sing Christmas carols during Yuletide is really nothing extraordinary.
Even having Chief Minister Adenan Satem on stage belting out “Mary’s Boy Child” at a Christmas gathering is nothing strange.
However, such a public display of religious harmony could be considered “out of line” across the South China Sea.
For certain groups in Malaya, it could be deemed a scandalous video clip and may even be subject to very strong condemnation from some muftis of the faith and some Umno people. But definitely not from the Mufti of Sarawak!
The video shows a group of 12, all in police uniform, with five or six women with tudong, singing “White Christmas”. The conductor of the 11-member choir also appears to be a Malay.
The video appears to have been shot at an event hosted and attended by PDRM personnel, most probably at the popular Senior Police Officers’ Mess at Jalan Badruddin in Kuching.
In these days when Malayan ultra-Islamic champions like Ibrahim Ali and Ridzuan Tee as well as a few muftis and self-proclaimed holy men are very vocal in the pages of the mainstream media with very pro Malay and Islamic supremacy statements – this would be their ultimate nightmare!
They see right before them the defenders of our nation, our men in blue, and of the Islamic faith, gathering at a Christmas event and singing with gusto a song celebrating the birth of Christ – “White Christmas”.
Adding insult to injury would be the language that they had sung the song in – English – and they had performed it extremely well, meaning that a lot of time had been put into the rehearsals for the performance now caught for perpetuity on video on someone’s smart camera phone.
It is now a YouTube hit, and a Facebook hit, as Malaysians everywhere and not just Sarawakians or Sabahans, are sharing and re-sharing it with their friends and colleagues. In other words, it has gone quite viral.
This short video has indeed made a singular statement.
It says that regardless of what you “other Malaysians” across the South China Sea have screamed and shouted about, or indeed are still practicing in your public service and private institutions – we in Sarawak and Sabah have carried on with what we consider our normal practice since time immemorial.
This is what we’re all about. This is Sarawak. We are one people and there’s no Malay, Melanau, Iban, Bidayuh, Chinese or Indian.
Yes, that’s our race, and who we were born, but we are, all of us simply Sarawakians and we have lived this way for generations. We will continue to do so for as long as our children and theirs will continue to do so, in the same way, preserving our culture and way of life in tolerance and harmony for all into the future.
If you are thinking of changing us, think again.