Barisan Nasional leaders in rural Sarawak want the government to clamp down on Radio Free Sarawak broadcast.
KUCHING: Barisan Nasional grassroots leaders, increasingly disconcerted by the reach of Radio Free Sarawak (RFS) in the interior of Sarawak, are claiming that the news aired by the Internet broadcasting network is “poisoning” the “mentality” of the native Dayaks.
“The radio is rubbish and it may destroy the mentality of the Ibans and the Dayak community as a whole,” said a local pro-government leaderpemanca (chief), Wilson Siang Lim.
He said before RFS does more damage, the government must clamp down on the widely popular broadcasts.
“Before RFS spreads more ill-will, the government must take action,” he said.
RFS broadcasts daily from London from 6pm to 8pm on SW 15420 KHz to Sarawak, especially the rural areas.
Since its first launch in 2010, RFS has gone on to become a “leader” in alternative radio-news broadcast with call-ins from locals highlighting BN’s lies, broken promises, rampant corruption, and abuse of power.
Locals have also called in to register their protests against the government’s contentious hydro-electric dam projects and land grabs by the state government, ignoring their native customary rights (NCR) status.
Lambir assemblyman Ripin Lamat has called on the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to restrict the frequency of RFS.
Lamat, who apparently has been listening to RFS, said the news clips were discrediting the government.
‘Refute RFS stories’
He said the radio channel broadcasted in the Iban language was introduced by the opposition party to condemn the government ahead of the 13th general election.
“We urge related agencies to take immediate action to stop RFS from spreading lies by restricting its radio frequency,” Lamat said recently.
He said the opposition was using RFS to fish for votes.
“RFS was spreading false information with elements of sedition and defamation to rural voters. This is part of their strategy to fish for votes,” he said .
He urged inhabitants in longhouses in Sarawak to bar opposition members who promote the radio channel.
But unknown to Lamat, RFS is where the rural people phone in their complaints and pour out their grievances.
Chastising Lamat for his “advice” to natives, Sarawak PKR chief Baru Bian said: “This is indeed a very destructive and uncalled-for advice.
“Firstly, it is an affront to the longhouse culture of welcoming any person notwithstanding backgrounds, race, religion and political affiliation.
“Secondly, such statement is going to cause ill-feelings among residents of longhouses, which should not be the case as anybody is free to give support to any political party.
“Supporting political ideologies is legal in Malaysia.
“Thirdly, if RFS is not telling the truth, refute it. BN has all the means to refute any purported lies, but don’t plant seeds of discord by destroying our culture.
“Perhaps, the truth hurts,” said Bian, who is the Ba’Kelalan assemblyman.