Wednesday 25/5/11

Wednesday 25 May / 58 comments

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As Radio Free Sarawak is taking a Gawai holiday break we catch up with PKR Advisor Datuk Sri Anwar Ibrahim. Last Friday he did an interview with Malaysiakini about the Sarawak election. Peter John questions him on some of the issues including corruption and plans to combat the problems they faced. He feels the election could be as early as August of this year. Sarawak immigration officers caught up with political activist Ong BK in Bengoh, Kuching, yesterday and ordered him out of the state. Ong, a coordinator of the Malaysian Election Observers Network (MEO-Net), entered Sarawak through Bintulu on earlier that week with no difficulties, but 10 officers stopped him at the Bengoh Dam security post this morning and escorted him to the immigration office in Pending. He suggests he was being deported because “some politicians don’t like me—politicians who don’t like their vote buying and abuses of power being exposed by MEO-Net.” Peter John finds out more. SADIA Secretary General Nicholas Mujah who was with BK Ong at the time discusses the unfair deportation of his NGO friends. And BRIMAS Director Mark Bujang talks about 100 residents from Long Sebayang and Long Napir who protested against alleged illegal logging and encroachment on their NCR land. They have reported to the police and the local government but no one has acted on their requests to date. Finally the Radio Free Sarawak team would like to wish everyone a very happy Gawai Dayak! Enjoy your celebrations!!

Tuesday 24/5/11

Tuesday 24 May / 2 comments

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SADIA Secretary General Nicholas Mujah discusses logging activities in Panjai Ruai, Lubok Antu. When NGO’s reached the area on Friday, the loggers escaped through the jungle so as not to be seen by villagers. Nicholas Mujah also comments on the 100 residents from Long Sebayang and Long Napir who staged a demonstration to protest against illegal logging in their Native Customary Rights land. The villagers are devastated because their ancestral monuments such as ‘kawang’ and ‘perupun’ which is a rock held sacred to them were desecrated and the river which is the source of their water has been polluted. Peter John catches up with Dr. Christopher Kiyui to find out the latest news on the NCR issues in Tebedu. Villagers are angry at the Government’s administration system. Bersih has cautioned that new administrative changes to postal voting are not sufficient to guarantee free and fair elections. Earlier this week the election commission announced that postal voting for military, police and diplomatic personnel had been re-defined as “advance” voting. Bersih’s Wong Chin Huat is not convinced that mere cosmetic changes would clean up the dirt associated with postal voting. And YB See Chee Howe feels that “Register of Services” is politically motivated to issue a letter to the party which might eventually lead to its de-registration. Peter John finds out more.

Monday 23/5/11

Monday 23 May / One comment

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On Monday’s repeat show we hear from Nicholas Bawin on Gawai Celebrations and how the recent price hike in goods could affect many families this year. We hear from 2 headmen who are affected by the logging activities of KTS and activist Willie Kajan reports. All this and new music to keep you entertained this Monday evening.

Sunday 22/5/11

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It’s Sunday so we treat you to a special sermon from Pastor Greman and re-cap on some of the highlights of this week. Listen out for interviews from Mengga Mikui, YB Baru Bian and YB See Chee Howe. Sit back, relax and enjoy the show…

Saturday 21/5/11

Saturday 21 May / 10 comments

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Radio Free Sarawak catches SADIA chief Nicholas Mujah on his way to the Sarawak/Indonesia border to investigate yet another NCR issue. The villagers from Panjai Ruai have sent a letter to the Forest Department against logging on their land but are yet to receive a response. Loggers have invaded their land and began destroying the forest. A fan of Radio Free Sarawak has got in touch to tell us his concerns about villagers in Ulu Linai, Baram. He says the natives do not understand their rights and believes NGO’s are yet to educate the people there. PKR vice president Nurul Izzah Anwar has received a text message containing a threat to kidnap her three-year-old, daughter. The threatening message warned her against continued support for her father Anwar Ibrahim or her daughter would be kidnapped. Peter John contacts Nurul Izzah Anwar to find out more. And with Gawai festival celebrations beginning, Nicholas Bawin discusses how prices have risen making this year a little more difficult for some.

Friday 20/5/11

Friday 20 May / One comment

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A blazing fire destroyed nine squatter houses in Pujut Corner Wednesday leaving 67 people from 17 families homeless. Peter John speaks to a nearby squatter who wants to explain to listeners the regularity of these fires in squatter camps. The fire started from one of the houses, according to an eye-witness who saw smoke issuing from it. SUHAKAM will conduct a nationwide inquiry into the land rights of indigenous people from June to January 2012. We speak to Jannie Lasimbang, head of the panel committee who urges the public to lodge police reports on any NCR issues and to meet with SUHAKAM when they visit your town. “After gathering the data, we will review the land laws and propose policies consistent with international laws to protect the rights of these people” And Mengga Mikui explains to Dayaks the difference between NGO’s and political parties. The Sarawak Dayak National Union is now daring enough to fight for Dayak rights! Most of the members are former politicians who feel they now understand the issues from both sides.

Thursday 19/5/11

Thursday 19 May / 4 comments

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Six Bidayuh villagers, who allegedly torched seven heavy machinery, four lorries and five logging quarters in Tebedu on May 9, were unconditionally released by the magistrate’s court yesterday. We speak to lawyer of the case YB See Chee Howe on this fantastic result. Yesterday we spoke to one angry villager from Kampung Giam Lama, Kuching who is outraged that signatures from his village have been faked to obtain consent for logging activities to be carried out on their land. Peter John discusses this issue with the headman from Kampung Giam Lama and talks to Samson the headman from Kampung Semedang, the nearby village. Kampung Semedang have been protesting the same loggers who are encroaching on their land as an access route to get to the forests beyond. And “Papa Orang Utan” catches up with passionate activist Willie Kajan who explains to listeners about an NCR issue in Long Terawan. Logging giant KTS are trying to manipulate the Penan and Bidayuh villagers to sign an agreement to allow logging on their land. The villagers have protested this action and have lodged a police report.

Wednesday 18/5/11

Wednesday 18 May / 2 comments

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Villagers from Kampung Giam Lama, Kuching, are outraged that their signatures have been faked to obtain consent for logging activities to be carried out in their land. The villagers state that although their names and identity card numbers had been jotted down correctly, their signatures have been forged. At least 48 names are listed in the document including some that had died. We speak to one villager who is angry and wants to know who is behind the scam. He says “the Bidayuh are brave now, they have spirit” Peter John discusses the recent revelation that the Swiss Authorities are probing Taib’s foreign assets with YB Chong Chieng Jien. He says Pakatan Rakyat will raise this issue at the first State assembly. “Movement of Change Sarawak” leader Francis Siah has been the recipient of police intimidation the past few days. MOCS want’s Taib to step down by August 13th and reassures followers that they will continue to pressure this deadline despite a police report against them. Francis Siah discusses his plans to launch Movement of Change Sabah. Since mid last week, parts of Sarawak have been enveloped in a haze caused by open burning with the current dry spell compounding the problem further. Open burning is banned in the rest of Malaysia, but Sarawak has the unique arrangement with land developers where they are allowed to do so with with a permit from the Natural Resources and Environment Board. Large scale burning is often conducted by plantation companies as the cheapest way to clear the land at the expanse of public health. We speak to former high-ranking Forestry Officer Mengga Mikui on this issue.

Tuesday 17/5/11

Tuesday 17 May / 3 comments

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5 native villagers from Tebedu have been arrested and remanded for defending their ancestral land and will stand in Court on Wednesday 18th May. Anger broke out last week in the usually law-abiding area of Tebedu, Serian as loggers continued to raid their rare patch of remaining virgin jungle. Over 500 people turned up at one point to show they were unhappy with logging on their land. We speak to SADIA Chief Nicholas Mujah who supported the villagers at the police station and Numpang Suntai, who has been in a similar situation himself gives the villagers some warm words of advice. The landmark challenge being mounted by a group of natives against the Sarawak Land Code has been postponed to allow the state to answer a 56-page submission. The first suit is by Bato Bagi and five others against the state government over their loss of land, now under water as part of the Bakun hydroelectric dam project. The second involves a suit by Jalang Paran against the government and a state-owned company which acquired NCR land for a pulp mill project. Peter John speaks to YB Baru Bian and Jessica from Sahabat Alam Malaysia who were present at Court.

Monday 16/5/11

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With Gawai Festival just around the corner we speak to prominent blogger, Dr. John Brian about the sudden price increase in essential goods such as sugar and yeast and how the Dayak will be affected by this. We also re-cap on some of our interviews from last week in case you missed out. We speak to Dr. Christopher Kiyui on angry protesters in Tebedu who want the loggers off their land. Peter John catches up with Fathi from Malaysiakini to find out about their recent donation to a Penan school and what projects the money is being channelled into. And BRIMAS Director Mark Bujang fills us in on the latest NCR issues.

Sunday 15/5/11

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It’s Sunday so we treat you to sermon from Pastor Greman and re-cap on some highlights from the past week! We cover issues such as DAP taking on the Borneo Cultural Festival, the villagers who are fighting back against loggers in Tebedu and other NCR issues.

Saturday 14/5/11

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The Dayaks want the Federal Government to freeze a further reduction in subsidies on essential goods. The Dayaks feel they are the worst affected, the cost of living has shot up but the salaries are staying the same. The majority of their communities comprise of low or middle income earners who are suffering from the sudden increase. One person who has been very vocal on this issue is Ellison Ludang, President of the Dayak Iban Association in Miri, we catch up with him to find out more. Deputy of Sarawak Dayak National Union Dr. John Brian gives us his comments on how traders are taking advantage on the sudden slash in subsidies leaving the people to suffer! And Lah Anyie gives us the latest information on the IOI case and the 7 villagers who went to court after being arrested for harvesting fruit.

Friday 13/5/11

Friday 13 May / 6 comments

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Sarawak Report has exclusively revealed that the Swiss President Michelle Calmy-Rey has ordered an investigation in to Chief Minister Taib Mahmud’s assets. The information has been forwarded to FINMA (The Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority) We speak to Taib’s own cousin, Datuk Salleh Jafaruddin who feels the investigation is necessary and that the rakyat were fooled during the State election. He suggests not only Taib’s assets be investigated by his cronies as well. President of Sarawak Teachers Union William Ghani Bina speaks to Peter John about discrimination against children with mixed parents in Sarawak. Bumiputera status is very different in Sarawak compared to the rest of Malaysia, so how does this fit in to the 1Malaysia concept? The first national inquiry in to land rights of indigenous communities is being taken on by SUHAKAM a government commission based in Kuala Lumpur. With over 1,000 complaints on NCR issues, we speak to a commissioner from the organisation, Jannie Lasimbang. And President of Sarawak Dayak National Union Mengga Mikui explains the difference between the government and political parties.

Thursday 12/5/11

Thursday 12 May / 6 comments

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News has been circulating that Tuai Rumah who were bribed with RM15,000 cheques before the election are now finding them retained by the bank. The longhouse chiefs have been told that the cheques either had names spelt wrong or IC numbers were missing. We speak to PKR candidate Mengga Mikui who believes “BN used fraudulent ways to defeat him in the polls and deliberately attempted to cheat the longhouse chiefs” About 80% of the 220 longhouse chiefs have faced similar problems. Malaysiakini has been raising money for a Penan children’s school in Middle Baram. They say “While we see much suffering in our world, each and every one of us should do our bit so that we may witness their liberation one day” We speak to Fathi from Malaysiakini to find out what this money will be used for and how vital their fundraising is. BRIMAS representative Mark Bujang talks to Peter John about an NCR case in Suai Niah which has reached court and we get an update on the IOI court case in Long Teran from Lah Anyie.

Wednesday 11/5/11

Wednesday 11 May / 2 comments

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For 9 years the Borneo Cultural Festival in Sibu has been running smoothly, but since the State Election the Council behind the BCF are not interested in staging the event. Opposition MP’s have pointed out that it is unfair for the authorities to punish the people for not supporting BN in the April 16 polls. DAP have stepped in and are willing to take over the event, we speak to DAP’s Leon Donald who feels they are ready to host the event. Yesterday we spoke to Idris Bohari on BN intimidation tactics in Sarawak and in particular Pantai Damai. We follow this story today by speaking to PKR’s Wan Zainal who says that voters must be free to choose their representatives without a threat of retaliation. Deputy President of Sarawak Dayak National Union, Dr. Brian Anthony gives an exclusive interview to Peter John on Dayak leaders in politics. He feels that Dayak Political Leaders should respect Dayak leaders such as those from NGO’s who tirelessly right for their rights!