MALAYSIANS KINI Every Sunday morning, Malay-language hymns can be heard from the fourth floor of Sidang Injil Borneo Kuala Lumpur (SIB KL). It is a worship service specifically for Christians from East Malaysia.
Timothy Upai Lindris, 26, who hails from Limbang, Sarawak, joins the service. He sways to the band's rhythm and sings ‘Bersama Mu Bapa’ with 200 other natives of East Malaysia.
When the music stops, he closes his eyes and helds out his hands to pray silently as the pastor reads out the Malay-language scripture. The pastor then preaches on Agape - God's love.
After each service, Timothy usually goes for lunch with other Sarawak natives, but today he takes time out to sit for an interview with Malaysiakini at the church canteen.
"I feel more at home and part of the community because I can meet my friends from Sarawak here," Timothy says.
SIB KL offers several types of church service and the Malay-language one joined by Timothy is called ‘Kebaktian Bahasa Malaysia’.
"This make me more comfortable, at least a day when I can speak my own tongue," says Timothy.
Across the South China Sea, Sarawakians' lifestyle, food, culture, language and even their perception of home and country differ from those from Peninsular Malaysia.
The difference is more keenly felt by Sarawakians who live and work in the peninsula...