Christina Suntai is back broadcasting in Sarawak after several years break in the US. She enjoyed a successful first career as one of Sarawak’s top Iban-speaking broadcasters, before marrying and leaving for South Carolina, where she became a computer expert.
Christina was one of the favourite voices of Radio Television Malaysia (RTM), working as a top reporter and news presenter on several shows.
“Many of my assignments took me far into the interior, often accompanying cabinet ministers, but sometimes to collect programme material for our shows. I may have been away for many years, but my heart is in Sarawak and I am still a registered voter” says Christina.
Suntai says she has been motivated to join the Radio Free Sarawak project to help in the way she knows best. “I have watched events unfolding over the past years and matters have got worse to the extent that I feel I have to do what I can to help out against the destruction of Sarawak and the rampant corruption in the state. I am joining this project in the hope that we can assist in the changing of the Government that has done so much to harm my relatives and friends, who as Dayaks are treated like second class citizens in their own country. I am so excited by this project”.
Christina is a former student of St.mary’s Secondary School, Kuching, Sarawak and in 1987 she graduated from Florida Techinical College in computer science and computer programming.
In 2010 she joined her brother Numpang Suntai in his fight against Barisan Nasional cronies and illegal loggers who grabbed native lands and destroyed rainforest of Ulu Sebangan.
Her moto is “If not us, who will?” and she’s dared her supporters and fans to join her and walk the talk, “show us your support in the form of money and time to help out with the campaign and election!”
Peter John Jaban
The original D Jay on Radio Free Sarawak is back with the expanded team after some exciting travels around Borneo.
Peter started as a radio presenter with Cats Radio back in the late 1990s. “It was a great experience, but I could never work there now. Like all the media in Sarawak it is controlled by BN and it is owned and run by Taib’s own family members”, says Peter.
Like fellow presenter Christina Suntai Peter is a native Iban speaker. He is also a committed Native Customary Rights activist and is a prominent supporter of Sadia, The Sarawak Dayak Iban Association, which helps local people defend their land rights.
Alongside his radio presenting, Peter also worked in the Land Survey Department’s Headquarters for many years and he says “there is much that is very wrong with the way this Chief Minister has been taking away the land from the natives and handing it out to his family and political cronies”.
Peter came to London first in 2010 to launch Radio Free Sarawak and he is glad to be back working with the team to bring these issues to the longhouses.
Clare Rewcastle Brown, Founder and Executive Editor
During a visit to Sarawak in 2005 to speak at an environmental conference, Sarawak born investigative journalist Clare Rewcastle Brown was asked by local activists to help publicise deforestation in the state. Radio Free Sarawak was founded by Rewcastle-Brown in 2010 and in 2013, the New York Times called her “one of the most effective voices calling attention to deforestation in Malaysia”. Clare’s dedication to exposing corruption in Malaysia has landed her on a Government black list which now bans her from entering the country. Radio Free Sarawak has gone on to win the IPI International Press Institute’s Free Media Pioneers Award 2013 and have been invited to speak at various democracy forums over the past year.