Wednesday January 23, 2013
PRS chief lauds police report
By NIGEL EDGAR
KUCHING: Freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to tell lies, says a senior minister.
Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing said Radio Free Sarawak and Radio Kenyalang had abused their freedom by operating in a cowardly manner.
Masing, who is also PRS president, told The Star yesterday that he was glad that PRS Youth had lodged a police report against the two radio stations.
“These two radio stations have bad intentions when they have to use foreign facilities to air their programmes. Radio Free Sarawak and Radio Kenyalang must understand that freedom of speech does not mean the freedom to tell lies.
“If they really have good intentions and believe in what they say, why not establish their stations in Sarawak?” he stressed.
Back in 2010, Masing was interviewed by Radio Free Sarawak.
A press release from the radio station on Nov 18, 2010 stated that Masing supported the set-up of the radio station, quoting him as saying he “liked the idea” and blog sites Sarawak Report and Malaysia Today.
The press release stated that Masing confessed that the government had been getting it wrong on a number of important fronts, including logging.
Regarding that press statement, Masing said he had been deceived by the radio station because he thought it was based in the state.
“The interviewer, via phone, called himself Papa Orang Utan. He refused to give me his real name. I thought it was strange. Since then, I don’t entertain their calls anymore,” said Masing.
The identity of the radio’s anchor Papa Orang Utan and the people behind it were unknown until they went public in February 2011.
Papa Orang Utan is Iban activist Peter John Jaban. Also involved is Clare Rewcastle Brown, the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
Many state politicians demanded that an investigation be carried out on the radio station.
This had prompted the Home Ministry in March 2011 to probe the radio station.
A rumour had also been circulating among political punters that Masing could also be involved in the operations of Radio Free Sarawak by giving it funding.
When asked, Masing said it was a wild rumour cooked up by certain individuals he had identified but could not reveal, to bring him and Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud down.
“Don’t believe in the rumours spread by them,” he said.