Sabahans are Malaysians too, but we always feel that West Malaysians don’t understand us. Only Sabahans can understand all the differences below. This is meant to be funny, so please don’t feel offended.
Ok vs Bah
In Sabah, we say Bah more than Ok. Bah also has other meaning. You can check out the annoying tutorial video of Adam Tambakau to learn more lol.
Majority of our highways only connect major cities, towns and urban areas, some places, especially small villages, only have paved or gravel roads. Part of the city roads still can be bumpy, and you must be vigilant to avoid hitting the potholes.
Myvi vs 4WD
Because of the bad roads, Sabahans who needs to enter villages regularly would prefer a 4-wheel-drive over a fancy saloon car. When West Malaysians see so many 4WD in Sabah, they think Sabahans are rich. Well, without a 4WD, you can’t access many places in Sabah.
Huh?! No Thanks!
The typical rojak of Malaysia consists of cucumber, bean sprouts, and various kinds of chopped fruits. If you order rojak in Sabah, what you get are sliced beef, yellow noodle, bean curd puff and cucumber mixed with sweet peanut sauce, which are something meaty rather than fruity.
Nasi Lemak Vs Linopot
Nasi lemak is our national dish originating in Malay cuisine. It’s wrapped and served nicely in banana leaves. In Sabah, we wrap cooked rice and dishes in the big leaves of doringin or tarap.
Satay vs Sinalau Bakas
In Peninsular Malaysia, sometimes pork is a problem, while in Sabah, we enjoy pork so much and really fond of Sinalau Bakas (smoked wild boar meat). You could find Sinalau Bakas stalls next to the busy rural roads between towns.
Besides the ordinary durians, Sabah has durians with red or orange flesh (Sukang and Dalit). These small durians have stronger aroma and exotic flavors, so they are also used in cooking.
Everything is expensive in Sabah except seafood. If you invite Sabahans for a seafood dinner in your state, don’t be upset if they complain about the small but expensive seafood.
Many businesses in West Malaysia don’t feel guilty to charge Sabahans more. Sabahans usually end up paying 20% or more but we are already numb to such price differences. It’s not a great feeling, as Sabahans have lower income but burdened by higher living cost.
So many times I got tricked by some online Malaysian shops that said they offered FREE shipping in Malaysia. The excitement became disappointment the moment I keyed in my Sabah address in check-out page. Sometimes the shipping fee can cost more than the product itself.
Network connectivity is really an issue in remote area. For example, a Sabah student named Veveonah Mosibin had to camp on top of a tree, to get stronger data signal for taking her exams online. Until today, there are still Sabah village kids that have to walk a few KM to get Internet coverage.
When I was living in KL, it confused me that the sky was still bright at 7pm. In fact, before 1982, Malaysia had two time zones. The time in Sabah was 30 minutes faster than West Malaysia so it gets dark sooner.
Merdeka Day vs Malaysia Day
Sabahans don’t feel much emotions when they see the historical footage of Tunku Abdul Rahman shouting “Merdeka” for the independence of Malaya in 1957, because that year Malaysia hasn’t existed yet. We care more about the Malaysia Day on 16 Sep, which becomes a National Holiday since year 2010.
Sabah has a lot of Catholics and Christians, so we have extra day off for Good Friday and Christmas Eve. Kaamatan is the harvest festival of Kadazandusun and Murut communities.
Beer vs Tapai
Did anyone tell you that Sabahans are good drinkers? We do like beer but it’s more like an orang putih thing, so true Sabahans would go for the more potent rice wines such as Tapai and Lihing.
Boh vs Sabah Tea
I don’t care about the taste, any brand with the word “Sabah” is my favourite lol.
Mango vs Bambangan
Bambangan is a wild mango of Sabah. It’s very sour and is commonly eaten as pickle and appetizer. Bambangan to Sabahans is like Kimchi to Koreans.
Sabah has shirts and daily wear with native styles and motifs inspired by our traditional costumes.
Sabahans dance Sumazau whenever they are happy or partying.
To Sabahans, Unduk Ngadau (Miss Harvest Festival) means more than a gorgeous woman, she is also a figure who represents the sacred and motherly Huminodun, a maiden sacrificed to save her starving people.
Gadis vs Sumandak
Sumandak is a Dusun word for girl. Chinese (Hakka) terms such as Ah Moi and Liang Moi are also widely understood.
Tall Vs Long Building
Sabah doesn’t have a lot of skyscrapers, but we have longhouses, the tallest tropical tree in the world and top 3 highest mountains of Malaysia.
No explanation required. Peace!
The Malayan tiger is strong and charismatic. Orangutan is intelligent and cute.
Hang Tuah is a silat master and the most well-known hero of Malaysia. Murut people are fearsome warriors in the past, and they harvested your head to make house decoration. You don’t want to be their enemies.
Disclaimer: Remember, Malaysia is a multicultural country, and this is the most beautiful part of Malaysia. Diversity doesn’t impair Unity, as long as we respect one another. This post is purely for entertainment purpose, the differences are exaggerated but have no intention to mock anyone or any group, nor does it represent all Malaysians and Sabahans. Any other difference you can think of? Please share it in comment section below.