Tuesday January 22, 2013
PRS Youth bent on stopping RFS and RK broadcasts
By YU JI
KUCHING: PRS Youth will help the police monitor the broadcast of Radio Free Sarawak (RFS), said its deputy chief Ellison Silo Bilun.
“We are going to monitor it from day to day. At the same time, the police have promised us that they will investigate from A to Z,” Silo said on the phone when contacted yesterday.
The PRS deputy youth chief also said the police had already contacted him to arrange for a meeting scheduled for yesterday evening.
“They called me ... (we are) going to meet them by 6pm or 7pm.”
PRS Youth on Sunday lodged a police report against RFS, which is UK-based, and Radio Kenyalang (RK), which is linked to SWP, headed by Larry Sng.
A PRS Youth statement issued on the weekend said the police report was lodged based on security reasons.
“We, peace lovers, want the police to investigate and take action on those directly and indirectly involved (with the two radio broadcasts) for the safety of Sarawak and Malaysia,” the statement said.
It added that the two radio stations “pollute” people’s minds and “instigate the people”.
Speaking to The Star yesterday, Silo said it was PRS Youth’s aim to completely “stop” the broadcast.
Asked for a specific example of the broadcasts’ content that could be deemed criminal, Silo said the stations (he declined to say which one) had been spreading misinformation on native land rights.
Pressed to be more specific, he added: “They are spreading unnecessary information, false information to people outside there.
“They are making people angry with the Government of the day. This is what we don’t want. The point is that we really want to stop their broadcast.”
RFS founder Clare Rewcastle Brown issued an immediate media statement on the police report on Sunday. In it, she said the BBC’s World Service and US-based Voice of America were also broadcasting via shortwave internationally — not just RFS.
“We are entitled to broadcast our programmes from London and we have not committed any criminal offence. They might as well accuse Voice of America and the BBC of committing criminal offence because they also broadcast free radio on shortwave,” Rewcastle Brown said.
“The solution for those against our humble radio show is, not to try to shut us up, but to start answering some of our arguments. Also, if there is no truth to the criticisms being aired on Radio Free Sarawak, then it would be of no worry to anyone.”
Rewcastle Brown said jamming radio signals were against international protocols. She listed Iran and North Korea as examples of countries which jammed radio frequencies.
RFS airs a two-hour programme daily from the UK. It can be heard on radio globally and also downloaded via podcast from the Internet.
RK is believed to have begun late last year, with SWP officials saying at least 100 radio sets had been distributed to rural areas to enable rural dwellers to listen in.