PKR: Distribution of free radio sets to continue
by Samuel Aubrey, firstname.lastname@example.org. Posted on January 20, 2013, Sunday
KUCHING: Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) will continue to distribute free radio sets to rural folk despite attempts to stop the broadcast of Radio Free Sarawak (RFS).
Its state vice-chairman See Chee How said there was no reason for them to halt its distribution because RFS had proven to be an effective tool for the opposition.
“Why should we stop? We will distribute more now when we have ‘promoters’ who make RFS even more popular,” he said after an eye-dotting ceremony for a lion troupe sponsored by PKR Tabuan Jaya here yesterday.
The ‘promoters’ referred to by See, who is also Batu Lintang assemblyman and a practising lawyer, were leaders of the state BN who had been making calls against RFS, which broadcasts from 6pm to 8pm daily, mainly in the Iban language.
On Thursday, Minister of Land Development Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing told The Borneo Post that the authorities concerned should act against those distributing free radio sets as it formed part of the modus operandi of the radio station.
Masing had also said that RFS must be stopped because it was poisoning the minds of the rural populace, especially the Ibans, and running down the government.
Many sets of the transistor radio had already been distributed by PKR and its Pakatan Rakyat partner DAP to enable the people in the rural areas to listen to the broadcast in shortwave frequency.
Many political observers opined that RFS played a major part in Pakatan Rakyat winning 15 seats, including those in the rural areas, during the state election in April 2011.
They believed RFS, which mainly highlights issues against the government, would again play an important role for the opposition in the fast-approaching 13th general election. On another matter, See said revelations made during the on-going Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) in Sabah clearly showed that the Election Commission (EC) had been acting in cohort with Umno for the political expediency.
“To redeem itself and to earn the needed public confidence, the EC should immediately reverse its stance on the electoral watchdog Bersih’s demands and take the first bold step to appoint a panel of representatives from concerned social groups and individuals to clean up the electoral roll before the coming general election.”
He added that the revelations only went to show that it was easier for foreigners to be issued with identity cards whereas many deserving persons, mainly from the indigenous tribes, were being deprived of this important document.
“The most deprived Sarawakians are in the rural areas. That’s why a majority of the Penans do not have ICs. And that goes for the Kenyahs, Kayans, Bukits and Sabans, and others.