Radio Free S'wak goes on airMON, 15 NOV 2010KUALA LUMPUR: Radio Free Sarawak, aimed as an alternative voice for Sarawakians, went on air this morning.In an e-mail to FMT, the Bruno Manser Foundation, said that the new alternative radio station will have two daily broadcasts on shortwave, presumably in Iban and Bahasa Malaysia. "It aims at Sarawak's rural communities who lack access to independent media," stated the e-mail.It is an open secret that the media in Sarawak are strictly controlled by the state government under Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud and logging companies who own and control all major media outlets in the state.The transmission details of Radio Free Sarawak are as follows:1st transmission: 0630-0730 local time (GMT +8) on 7590 kHz (short wave)2nd transmission: 1800-1900 local time (GMT +8) on 15680 kHz (short wave)The e-mail had also attached a message from the producers of Radio Free Sarawak. Below is the message; "Please send the details to all your Sarawak friends so that they know the existence of the radio-which will become an alternative news source to the Sarawakians, especially to those who stay in the interior."The folks in the interior have been fed with a monotonous one-sided views from the ruling parties-if at all they can receive the TV and radio transmissions. So they need another avenue-and Radio Free Sarawak intends to fill in this gap."
Posted on November 18, 2010Radio Free Sarawak gets seal of approval from BN minister James MasingSpeaking in a set piece interview on the Rajang River log jam disaster, broadcast Friday 19th November on Radio Free Sarawak , James Masing, who is the Iban representative of the area and a senior minister in Taib’s BN government said that he welcomed the new radio station’s arrival on the scene.Speaking in Iban he said he “liked the idea” of the alternative radio station and said “other ministers would be happy to talk on your show, it is very nice”. Coming out in favour of allowing Sarawak a free media, he also signalled his approval of Sarawak’s blogging community, such as Sarawak Report and Malaysia Today. He said, “bloggers are everywhere you cannot stop them”.In a wide ranging interview, conducted in a mixture of Iban and Malay with RFS’s anchor man, Papa Orang Utan, Masing confessed that the government has been getting it wrong on a number of important fronts including logging he said “God is angry with us for taking the logs”. He admitted there was not enough supervision from the NREB or The Forest Dept. By doing so he effectively contradicted the government’s claims that this is a natural disaster and not a man-made disaster.He also acknowledged BN’s lamentable failure to implement key human rights in native areas, accepting that many indigenous people still suffer grievously because they have not received birth certificates or ID cards over the last 30 years of Taib’s government.James Masing, who is minister of land and the leader of the key Iban PRS party with 9 seats in the coalition, had just completed a traditional Miring ceremony in Balleh to appease the gods over what had happened with the logging disaster. Despite his obvious reservations, he nevertheless resisted repeated questions about whether he was planning to ‘jump ship’ before the next election.The full interview can be heard on Radio Free Sarawak on Friday 19th November at 6.30-7.30 am – 7590 kHz and repeated at 1800-1900 – 15680 kHz, alternatively log on to our podcast at www.radiofreesarawak.org.