Today we continue to highlight some of our previous interviews that you may have missed out on. We speak to Jacob Imang on the impact of Radio Free Sarawak and a native customary rights win in court! Peter John speaks to Bagina Minda on sedition laws and discuss Taib’s foreign assets. We speak to human rights activist Steven Ng on how he was refused entry during the Sarawak election and we speak to Bersih 2:0′s Ambiga on free and fair election.
On 28th April, indigenous communities affected by the Bakun Hydroelectric Project in Belaga took the State Government of Sarawak to Federal Court. We speak to lawyer of the case YB Baru Bian and Jessica from Sahabat Alam Malaysia who was present at Court. YB Baru Bian argued at Federal Court that Native Customary Rights is akin to the right to life under article 5 of the Federal Constitution. 13 representatives including four women from the five Bakun communities were present to attend the hearing. Continuing our round-up of the election we speak to DAP’s YB Chong Chieng Jen on plans for his constituency and PKR’s YB See Chee How.
More than 100 Ibans stormed the Sibu headquarters of the Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) yesterday, demanding the balance of RM400 a person as their reward promised for backing a party candidate who won in the recent state election, an election watchdog has revealed. Sibu Election Watch (SEW) in a press statement released in the Sarawak town late yesterday evening said the Ibans were upset that they did not get the “balance”, despite being promised by SUPP election agents as well as the tuai rumah (longhouse headman) before polling day. We speak to a member of the SEW about a report that has been lodged to the MACC and to a villager who turned up at the SUPP headquarters demanding his promised money. Popular blogger Leslley Kalom discusses this story along with other news that has been cropping up since the election.
Radio Free Sarawak is back on air! On today’s show we review some of the information that has been coming out since the election of rigging by BN candidates. In some cases, even more seriously, it seems they have been using the support of election officials. The opposition PR coalition have been examining the evidence and they will be contesting some of the seats. We speak to PKR’s YB Baru Bian and PKR candidate for Senadin Dr Michael Teo. There is news of another abuse by loggers on NCR land. This time a village Pengulu and a number of headmen are accused of having by-passed the village people to do a deal with the loggers behind their backs. There are signs of further bribery, a headman admitted that he accepted bribes from BN to get his village to support them. We listen to his story. A sign of how strong the opposition coalition has become that the YB forced to pay as much as RM10,000 to get the support of the headman.
News from the heartland of Dayak is music to the ears for PKR that is leading the PR onslaught into BN stronghold. Bendidang ak Manja, PKR’s candidate for Baleh tells RFS that he is beginning to see the mood change among Dayaks in the Kapit region who used to be BN die-hards. Bendidang who is challenging incumbent PRS president James Masing in a straight fight says he had lodged a police report on the proposition by two Special Branch personnel for him to withdraw from contesting. Baru Bian, PKR Sarawak chief, says two key issues – NCR land and religious freedom – have convinced his constituents to vote for change this time. He reckons that Taib is relying on black magic in the face of mounting pressure for him to step down, adding that reliance on bomoh is common among several BN leaders. DAP candidate for Simanggang, Leon Donald tells RFS that BN is bringing forward the construction date of a new hospital for Sri Aman to entice voters. He, however, feels the 108-room hospital is still inadequate for the growing rural area. A mother of a young kidney patient in Sri Aman shares her story as a victim of the pathetic health services. Jagel ak Sulai says she is forced to take her daughter to the Kuching hospital as the one in Sri Aman does not have the dialysis facility. Cyber attacks on critical news and blog sites had spread from Sarawak Report and RFS to Malaysiakini and popular bloggers like Anil Netto and Dayak Baru, bringing down these sites today. RFS speaks to media monitoring group, Centre for Independent Journalism’s executive officer Masjaliza Hamzah, who says that it is to be expected of a government that thrives at censoring critical views.
On today’s repeat show we listen to a member of Taib’s own family, his nephew Azizan Manan on why BN in Sarawak are corrupt. He explains why voters should not follow Taib but should instead vote for PKR and Baru Bian! An interesting insight in to the mindset of Taib’s own family. This comes along side Sarawak Report’s latest story where members of Taib’s inner circle have expressed concern that Taib is “senile” and being controlled by his Australian Lebanese brother-in-law, Sister and Bomoh.
Asking for money and turning away guests is not in the Iban culture. Two vocal headmen tells RFS that they are not afraid of the government cancelling their monthly allowances, neither are they afraid of speaking up for their communities. They reckon that those who listen to BN’s instructions are clearly on the take. BN’s attempt to scare Malay-Melanau areas with the ‘’Christian chief minister if you vote for PR’’ message is not going to work. Muslim leaders in Pas and PKR say Sarawakians religion-tolerance level are far higher than elsewhere in Malaysia. Selangor exco member Dr Xavier Jeyakumar says he forgive SPDP’s candidate for Krian, Peter Nyarok’s racist remark against him. Dr Xavier was campaigning for PKR’s Ali ak Biju in the area and Nyarok told the voters to ‘kill’ the Indian. Sylvester Ajah Subah who is contesting in the Dalat constituency says land grabs are happening throughout Sarawak. The former employee of the Planning and Resources Management ministry and later working for the Bintulu Development Agencies cites the acquisition of the old airport land in Bintulu by Naim Cendera as an example. Punans in the Ulu Bah area are crying foul over encroachment of their NCR land by logging company Samling and the meagre RM100 paid. Gabriel Atong informs RFS that his fellow Punans are going to vote for Ali Basah, the PKR’s candidate for Belaga this time as they believe in PR’s manifestor of returning their NCR land.
On Tuesday’s third hour we deal with issues surrounding the Bengoh dam. We hear from villagers affected by an NCR case in Pulau Bruit and we cover gangster intimidation in Sri Aman. Idil Amak Antau speaks of gangsters that came to their village with a gun to threaten them.
KR leader Anwar Ibrahim tells RFS that Najib’s 6-day campaign programme in Sarawak signals crisis in the BN’s strangle hold on the impoverished state. The floodgate of BN’s election bribery is wide open now as election campaign hits up and fear of losing its ‘fixed deposit’ deepens. PAS’ candidate for Beting Maro, Abang Ahmad Kerdee Abang Masagus shares with listeners of RFS that headmen in his area had been told that they could lose their monthly allowance if they failed to prevent their charges from attending PR’s rallies ahead of Prime Minister Najib Razak scheduled visit to the Beting Maro constituency. PKR’s Abun Sui says while PR will not resort to money politics, he is appealing to his fellow Dayaks to reject election bribes which had been cheating them of their rights to development for decades. He urges rural voters to unite and vote in PR for a brighter future. Grassroots activist Nicholas Mujah who is in Marudi tells RFS that BN has begin to roll out election goodies earlier than before. Wan Zainal Abidin bin Wan Senusi, PKR’s candidate for Pantai Damai tells RFS that infrastructure in the constituency that is a mere 20min drive from the capital Kuching is seriously under developed and many are still very poor. RFS tunes in to PKR vice president Tian Chua’s campaign at a longhouse in the outskirt of Marudi. PKR’s campaigner Ginnie Lim informs that response has been encouraging. She also reveals that the people are anticipating that Prime Minister Najib Razak will promise them to upgrade the 25-year-old gravel road. Alim Sarikn, a resident in Bau, predominant Bidayuh area, tells RFS that longhouse communities are deprived of clean water due to pollution caused by logging and the BN government had not address the issue.
On today’s repeat show we take a look back at an NCR case in Pantu. PKR’s Zuraida Kamaruddin talks politics. Activist Willie Kayan makes a report to MACC. And we take a look at the effects of alcoholism in rural areas where cheap and unbranded liquor is easily available.