Thursday, November 22, 2012

Larry Sng vs James Masing Saga continues with emergence of Radio Kenyalang

Masing sees red over proposed Radio Kenyalang

by Peter Sibon and Samuel Aubrey, Posted on November 22, 2012, Thursday
KUCHING: Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Masing did not hide his displeasure about report on the proposed Radio Kenyalang which is primarily aimed at destabilising the party.
He questioned why such a communication tool would be set up in the first place.
“I am a bit disturbed about the easy access to air wave these days because this will allow lies to be aired unabated,” Masing told the media here yesterday.
He said the proposed setting of the radio station would require large amount of funding.
“Where does the funding come from? I am curious,” he said.
Radio Kenyalang is the latest tool Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) is employing to destabilise PRS in its six (parliamentary) seats, though it (SWP) repeatedly claimed that it is a BN-friendly party.
Both SWP prime movers Dato Sng Chee Hua and his son Larry, who is also the party president, have continued to discredit PRS leadership in its efforts to win PRS’ six seats.
The battle for both parties to convince voters to support them in the impending general election would now be at a higher level with the setting up of the radio station
State BN secretary-general Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi, meanwhile, said the state BN was aware of the issue at hand and would take the necessary strategy to counter any negative elements deemed detrimental to the state’s political stability and social harmony.
“I am confident that Sarawakians will not be easily influenced by this trick to go against the BN government which has proven itself to be a fair and just government,” said the Assistant Minister of Public Utilities.
Deputy Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Datuk Joseph Salang, however, said Malaysia was a free and democratic country and anybody was thus free to do anything, including broadcasting, provided that the action was within the ambit of the law.
Meanwhile, former journalist Lester Melanyi yesterday categorically denied he was a member of SWP even though he has been helping the party in matters related to the media.
Responding to yesterday’s news report which categorised him as SWP media unit chief, he said there was no such unit in the physical sense but admitted he understood why it was figuratively stated that way.
“I don’t deny that I have been helping the party in media affairs. But let me state it categorically that I am not a member of SWP. I just work for keep,” he said in a press statement.
Lester was mentioned in yesterday’s news report as the head of Radio Kenyalang, the latest radio station to transmit through short wave.
Reliable sources said the station would be something like Radio Free Sarawak (RFS), and it is bound to court controversies once it gets on air.
The source also said that Radio Kenyalang, which will broadcast in Iban, is linked to SWP.
Lester, however, said that SWP had no direct link to the proposed radio station.

New Iban language radio station in the offing

 | 21/11/2012 

KUCHING: Radio Kenyalang will be the latest radio station to be transmitting through short wave, and it is bound to be courting controversies once it gets on air soon.
Reliable sources said the RK, which will broadcast in Iban, is linked to Sarawak Workers Party (SWP).
And just like SWP, RK will be BN-friendly but will hit out at Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) the party it declared it would contest against in the coming election.
The source also mentioned that RK will be something like Radio Free Sarawak (RFS).
It will be headed by Lester Melanyi, who is the SWP media unit chief. Lester, who has vast experience in journalism mostly in the print media, was at one time with RFS in London for a year.
When interviewed via email, Lester said he and a group of friends were in Kuala Lumpur and in London to work out the details on how to operate the station.
“We will get our airwave right from World Radio Network in London, meaning we will broadcast direct from London,” he said.
Asked whether RK will be based in London or Sarawak, Lester was evasive and merely said: “We are more than happy to operate from home but then again, we don’t want to be harassed or watch our back all the time.”
“Let’s just wait and see. Moreover, we hope the radio will be up and running in a matter of weeks. For a start, we will go on air for an hour,” he added.
SWP prime mover and now advisor Dato Sng Chee Hua also has years of experience in the media industry.
He was once the owner of The Malaysian Today, a local tabloid.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Kematian-kematian misteri di Pusa - Ilmu sihir hitam mula berleluasa di Sarawak?

Mystery surrounds death of four in a family

Posted on November 17, 2012, Saturday
Polis bergegas ke tempat kejadian pada jam 6.40 petang dan mendapati rumah beliau dalam keadaan berkunci dari dalam.

PUSA: Question marks continue to surround the death of four members of a family whose bodies were discovered inside their house at Lubuk Chepung, near the bus terminal, here on Thursday.
The deceased have so far been identified by police as Zaidi Pandi, 62, his wife Tiah Sauti, 53, their daughter Atikah, 27, and son Kazil, 20.
Their decomposing bodies were found inside their locked house by Zaidi’s younger brother Omar, 39, when he went to deliver some items to the family around 5pm on Thursday.
According to Omar, he thought his brother, a contractor, was at home as the family’s car was parked in front of the house.
When his calls to them went unanswered, he tried to open the front door only to find it locked.
He soon smelled a stench coming from inside the house.
Suspecting something was amiss he immediately headed to the police station to lodge a report, and later accompanied police personnel to the house where they forced their way inside only to make the gruesome find.
Betong police chief DSP Sarifuddin Mustapha said at the time of the discovery, Zaidi was found lying on a prayer mat clad in traditional Malay attire, sarong, and a skull cap.
His daughter was dressed in prayer attire and was seated in a chair not far away with her head resting against a pillow and the son’s body was close by.
Tiah’s body was found on a mattress in a bedroom.
Sarifuddin, who believed the four had been dead at least 48 hours prior to being found, said the incident did not appear to be a murder as no injuries were found on the bodies.
He also ruled out robbery as the house was locked from the inside and nothing appeared to have been stolen.
“I advise the public not to speculate on the deaths as the investigation is still ongoing.
“The bodies have been sent to the Betong hospital and the case has been classified as sudden death pending the result of a post mortem.”


Friday, November 9, 2012

Replace ageing Twin Otters — YB Dennis Ngau

Borneo Post November 9, 2012, Friday
MIRI: Telang Usang assemblyman Dennis Ngau has urged MASwings to replace its ageing, 17-seater Twin Otter (DHC6) aircraft with new ones.
He said this when commenting on Wednesday’s incident whereby, a MASwings Twin Otter (DHC6) aircraft veered off the runway upon landing at Marudi airport.
In the 2.33pm mishap, all 17 passengers and two operating crew disembarked safely.
Nevertheless, Ngau said, while he was not an aviation expert, he was informed by some quarters the aircraft was one of the safest in the world. — Bernama

Twin Otter lands in Marudi ditch

by Philip Kiew, Cecilia Sman, WB Ongie. Posted on November 8, 2012, Thursday
MARUDI: A DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft of MASwings landed in a ditch in a mishap at Marudi airport in the first incident of this ageing aircraft of the Rural Air Service operator.
AIRPORT MISHAP: The DHC-6 Twin Otter aircraft of MASWings ended up in a ditch at Marudi airport. – Photo by WB Ongie
FIRST ONE OUT: Teacher Hajijah Dollah said she was traumatised by the incident.
The incident occurred at about 2.19pm after the aircraft on flight MH 3562 from Miri touched down at the runway of the Marudi airport at about 2.33pm as the aircraft veered to the left side of the runway, tearing down the airport fencing and ending up in a ditch in fine weather.
Its left wing was touching the road to Kampung Padang Kerbau, after the rammed the wire fencing and coming to a halt with half the length of the aircraft in the ditch.
Baram OCPD Abu Bakar Moktar told the press that the 19-passenger aircraft was flying 17 passengers who escaped injury except for one female passenger who suffered minor leg injury.
The injured passenger received outpatient treatment at Marudi hospital, a stone-throw away from the airport.
He said Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) would investigate the actual cause of the incident although police preliminary investigation did not rule out technical problems as a possibility of the mishap.
PRECAUTIONARY MEASURES FIRST: Firefighters take precautionary measures to avoid possible explosion of the aircraft. – Photo by WB Ongie
DSP Bakar said this is the first aviation mishap involving a Twin Otter at Marudi airport in recent memory, and it was fortunate that there were no untoward incident in this.
The passengers hurriedly left the scene for the airport terminal at the other end of the runway while firefighters rushed to the scene to spray anti-inflammable powder on the aircraft as a precautionary measure.
Bakar said this is the first ever case involving an aircraft skidding in Marudi.
Meanwhile, a 49-year old school teacher, Hajijah Dollah, one of the passengers aboard, said she was the first to escape through the rear door which she opened after the aircraft came to a halt.
Traumatised by the incident, she was unable to re-collect much of what actually happened leading to the mishap.
Meanwhile, members of the public, including civil servants rushed to the scene for a closer look.
In Sept 2008, a similar aircraft of MASwings slammed into an empty farmhouse in Buduk Nur in Ba Kelalan highlands in a lucky escape for the 14 passengers and two pilots.
The aircraft landed in the paddy fields, narrowly missing the terminal building and other buildings along the runway.
The pilot was reported to suffer minor injuries while the rest were shaken up in this miraculous escape in that incident. Among the passengers were former SIB preacher and father to the late Dato Dr Judson Sakai Tagal and former Bukit Mas member of parliament Mutang Tagal, a SIB Australian preacher, Bruneian nationals and local Lun Bawangs.
Meanwhile, a press statement yesterday issued by Corporate Communications Department of MASwings said the Twin Otter veered off the runway upon landing in Marudi airport at around 1430 hours today.
There were no casualties and all 17 passengers and two operating crew of the flight disembarked safely.
Whilst the Marudi airport runway is still open for flight operations, MASwings has despatched an investigation team from Miri to Marudi for recovery and rescue action.
The airline said it will extend its full co-operation to the Malaysian Department of Civil Aviation investigating the incident.
“MASwings assures customers that this is an isolated incident and safe flight operations continue to remain a high priority in the company at all times,” the statement added.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pensyarah UNIMAS menulis dan interview youtube anti-kerajaan

Ketua Jabatan Politik dan Hubungan Antarabangsa, UNIMAS

From the ‘Borneo Agenda’ to a ‘People’s Agenda’

Petikan- petikan, "Despite being given the mandate to protect the rights and interests of the people in Sabah and Sarawak, the BN has failed to perform as a responsible and pro-people government. In fact, the ruling government is responsible for the sorry state of Sabah and Sarawak".  
"In 1995, Asiaweek identified Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud as one of nine ‘political warlords’ in Asia. The influential magazine described Taib as follows, “he has no private army, but he runs the closest thing to a Malaysian political fiefdom. Kuala Lumpur leaves the Sarawak Chief Minister alone in return for keeping the state sweet at election time. Massively wealthy from timber concessions, he drives around in a Rolls Royce” (Asiaweek, 12 August 1995)"
"However, the powerful Umno-led federal government soon eroded most of these rights, turning Sabah and Sarawak into merely two of thirteen states that presently constitute the Federation of Malaysia. Worse, over several decades, Sabah and Sarawak have been played like ‘chess pieces’ with BN employing dubious tactics to turn both states into its electoral fixed deposits,"
In our cover story, Faisal S Hazis says that the people of Sabah and Sarawak need a government that puts people at the forefront of its development struggle instead of championing a so-called ‘Borneo Agenda’ that does little to analyse and reform unjust power structures.
In December 2011, Sabah maverick politician Jeffrey Kitingan declared the formation of the United Borneo Alliance (UBA), a coalition of local opposition parties and NGOs that aimed to restore Sabah and Sarawak’s 1963 status within the federation.
A couple of months later, Kitingan pressed further his call for autonomous Borneo states when he boldly brought up the sensitive issue of secession when proposing the formation of a Malaysia Borneo nation (Free Malaysia Today, 4 May 2012). But Kitingan has not been the only one pressing for regional autonomy for East Malaysian states. Both local and national Pakatan Rakyat (PR) leaders have also raised the prospect of regional autonomy as a bait to capture Sabah and Sarawak.
In 2010, PKR Deputy President Azmin Ali promised to give ‘full autonomy’ to Sarawak if the opposition coalition wins the next general elections (Malaysiakini, 13 December 2010). He reiterated that the PR would honour the 1963 agreement in which Sabah and Sarawak helped to form Malaysia. Indeed, Azmin’s promise is largely a response to the strong undercurrent that exists in both states among local PR leaders who hold strong views about their ‘perceived inferior status’ within the federal polity. Hence, their desire for ‘full autonomy’ as a way of restoring their equal position within the federation.
And on 16 September 2012, Pakatan Rakyat Sarawak got the national leaders of Pakatan Rakyat namely Anwar Ibrahim, Lim Kit Siang and Abdul Hadi Awang to sign a Kuching Declaration, which basically reiterated the demands of ‘full autonomy’ for Sarawak and Sabah.
The ‘Borneo Agenda’ is thus the name of the political game in Sabah and Sarawak. It has become a key rallying call for the local opposition to break Barisan’s stranglehold on the East Malaysian states.
Paradoxically, opposition forces in Sabah and Sarawak are split over the issue of regional autonomy. Local opposition forces led by Kitingan’s State Reform Party (STAR) have criticised both the federal government and opposition parties from ‘Malaya’ for not honouring the 1963 agreement. Thus, they reject ‘Malayan’ leaders from both sides of the political divide as they feel that they have been “internally colonised” by all ‘Malayan’ parties (Borneo Herald, 9 May 2012). This sentiment is similarly held by the PR opposition in Sarawak.
Hence, although local opposition forces have expressed a willingness to cooperate with Pakatan, they are also poised to head to the polls on their own if they fail to strike favourable terms.
From special rights to two of 13 states
The opposition’s calls for Sabah and Sarawak’s autonomy stem from their growing frustration and anger towards the federal government for marginalising the once powerful states. When Sabah and Sarawak helped to form Malaysia in 1963, they were accorded ‘special rights’ (known as ‘20 points’ for Sabah and ‘18 points’ for Sarawak), which gave them more autonomy than the other 11 peninsula states. Conceivably, these ‘special rights’ were in recognition of their status (with Malaya and Singapore) as co-founders of the new Federation of Malaysia in September 1963.
However, the powerful Umno-led federal government soon eroded most of these rights, turning Sabah and Sarawak into merely two of thirteen states that presently constitute the Federation of Malaysia. Worse, over several decades, Sabah and Sarawak have been played like ‘chess pieces’ with BN employing dubious tactics to turn both states into its electoral fixed deposits, by establishing strongmen rule that perpetuate abuse of power and corruption; granting citizenship to illegal immigrants and later registering them as voters in order to win elections; espousing Malay-Muslim dominance that led to the emergence of racial politics in states that had long been known for practising multi-racial politics; and politicising development as an inducement to secure electoral support.
Unsurprisingly, resistance against the domineering federal government soon emerged in a ‘Borneo Agenda’ that in attempting to retrieve the rights that were lost also sought to give voice to local opposition forces in both Sabah and Sarawak.
The Borneo Agenda: Can it deliver progress for the people?
But is this ‘Borneo Agenda’ really what it purports to be, namely an appropriate response to put right all that is wrong in Sabah and Sarawak? Is this ‘Borneo Agenda’ really addressing the human needs of Sabahans and Sarawakians or merely a rallying call by opposition politicians to capture Sabah and Sarawak en route to Putrajaya? Or a plan by local Pakatan politicians to displace local Barisan Nasional (BN) strongmen so that they can place themselves at the helm of the states?
Some locals even criticise the campaign for the ‘Borneo Agenda’ as irrelevant. According to Sabah-born journalist Philip Gollingai, “so much water has passed under the bridge since Malaysia was formed that advocating the 20 points is like promising that Singapore will come back to Malaysia” (The Star, 29 July 2012).
Relevant or not, the ‘Borneo Agenda’ has clearly sidetracked other more pressing issues plaguing both Sabah and Sarawak. Today, they have high poverty rates, deep inequality, high unemployment, high costs of living, and poor public infrastructure. Abuse of power, corruption and nepotism are also rife. This then is the peril of the ‘Borneo Agenda’.
Rich resources but poor people
For many decades, the most serious issue in Sabah and Sarawak is the alarming rate of poverty and inequality despite the states’ rich natural resources. Sabah is still the poorest state in Malaysia in spite of the government’s efforts at reducing poverty from 58 percent in 1976 to 16 percent in 2002 (Ragayah 2011: 510). Notwithstanding this huge ‘success’ in eradicating poverty, it is believed that the ‘real’ poverty level in Sabah is much higher than the official figures. This perception is somewhat justified when the World Bank’s Malaysia Economic Monitor 2010 report estimated that 40 percent of the population in Sabah were poor. Among them, the Rungus in the north and the Sungai and the Suluk in the east. Some quarters even claimed that poverty in Sabah stands at 60 percent of the population (Free Malaysia Today, 8 April 2010)!
Sarawak suffers the same problem as its neighbour. Although poverty has been reduced drastically from 56.5 percent in 1976 to 5.8 percent in 2002 (Ragayah 2011: 510), some quarters argue that the ‘real’ poverty level is much higher. Re-visiting the poverty line income calculation in Sarawak, Philip Khoo estimated that over 30 percent of Sarawak families were below the poverty line (Aliran, March 2011). If we apply Khoo’s argument to Sabah, the ridiculously high 60 percent poverty level does not seem too far-fetched. Like in Sabah, the poor in Sarawak are mostly rural dwellers, in Sarawak’s case those Ibans, Melanaus and Bidayuhs living in the interior. Further, not only does poverty have an inter-ethnic dimension, it also exhibits an intra-ethnic dimension where significant numbers of urban Chinese and Muslim Bumiputeras in both states are also poor. Ironically, in the midst of championing the ‘Borneo Agenda’, the plight of the poor are completely ignored. Where is the agenda of the poor?
Another critical issue in Sabah and Sarawak is the glaring urban-rural divide which leaves many rural communities in a quandary. Rural areas in Sabah and Sarawak are vastly different from the Peninsula where the former are much more isolated and under-developed. Many households in rural East Malaysia still do not have basic public amenities like water, electricity, roads and phone coverage.
In spite of the NEP…
The crux of the problem is the federal government’s margina-lisation of the Sabah and Sarawak Bumiputera who make up the majority of the rural populace. This remains so in spite of 30-plus years of the NEP and various follow-up plans.
Under the First Malaysia Plan (1966-70), the federal government allocated 28 percent of the total development expenditure for agriculture and rural development in Sarawak, but this was reduced drastically to a mere 0.2 percent in the Fifth Malaysia Plan (1986-90) (after the Fifth Malaysia Plan, the public development expenditure by state and sector was not made available, thus my analysis fails to include the more recent Malaysia Plans). In Sabah, the trend was quite the opposite. The federal government’s allocation for agriculture and rural development increased from 15 to 37 percent in the same corresponding Malaysia Plans. Although Sabah seems to be better off, its rural areas are still comparatively under-developed than Sarawak.
In 2002, rural poverty in Sabah stood at 24.5 percent while Sarawak’s was at 10 percent (Ragayah 2011: 506). In terms of access to public amenities, rural Sabahans are much worse off compared to their counterparts in Sarawak. In 2005, 80.6 percent of rural Sabahans had access to electricity while 61 percent had water supply whereas 89.6 percent and 92 percent of rural Sarawakians had access to electricity and water supply respectively (Lee 2011: 433). This urban-rural divide has been further compounded by the state leaders’ policy of urban-centred development that often favoured their cronies.
Rural areas, on the other hand, have mainly had their rich resources, i.e. timber, extracted. David Brown (2001), in his PhD thesis, ‘Why Governments Fail to Capture Economic Rent’, alleged that Sabah and Sarawak leaders distributed state timber concessions among their family members and associates who later helped fund their election campaigns. Extracting timber from virgin forests that have displaced thousands of indigenous people is already bad enough. But doing it for the personal enrichment of state leaders, their families and their cronies just adds insult to injury!
Another PhD thesis that critically evaluates the developmental impact of East Malaysian states leaders’ pro-cronies policy is Andrew Aeria’s (2002) ‘Politics, Business, the State and Development in Sarawak, 1970-2000’. His valuable work points to the distribution of state rents to family, relatives and friends of Sarawak’s Chief Ministers who eventually end up monopolising the state’s economy.
Thus, when the local opposition leaders in Sabah and Sarawak overzealously champion autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak, do they not end up losing sight of the plight of the rural poor of the two East Malaysian states? So where is the agenda of rural and poor Sabahans and Sarawakians in the ‘Borneo Agenda’?
Rule of law or strongmen rule?
Sabah and Sarawak also have structural problems with their political systems dominated by local strongmen who have little regard for democracy and the rule of law. These strongmen have exploited state resources and the bureaucracy to accumulate personal wealth and to sustain their dominance.
The federal BN government is responsible for constructing this system. It elevates Muslim Bumiputera strongmen and provides support to sustain their rule. To federal BN leaders, local strongmen are expected to fulfil certain conditions (e.g. secure Barisan’s dominance in state and parliamentary elections; extend Malay Muslim dominance; transfer state resources to federal coffers; and ensure political stability). In return, the former allows the latter a free reign in both states.
In 1995, Asiaweek identified Sarawak Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud as one of nine ‘political warlords’ in Asia. The influential magazine described Taib as follows, “he has no private army, but he runs the closest thing to a Malaysian political fiefdom. Kuala Lumpur leaves the Sarawak Chief Minister alone in return for keeping the state sweet at election time. Massively wealthy from timber concessions, he drives around in a Rolls Royce” (Asiaweek, 12 August 1995)
Unlike Sarawak, Sabah has not been dominated by a single leader for a very long time (Taib is only the fourth Sarawak Chief Minister while Musa Aman is the fourteenth Sabah Chief Minister). Hence political and economic control is much more dispersed among its local strongmen. Sabah’s first chief minister Tun Mustapha, for example, used its office to accumulate personal wealth at the expense of the people. According to Harris Salleh’s biography, “The Tun, his pockets bulging with Sabah timber money, was drawn to the lights of London and Beirut and he began to lavish large donations on his favourite casinos. The Tun purchased a gentlemen’s estate in England complete with an attached nine-hole golf course and lived the life of the landed gentry far from the dirt poor longhouses of his state” (Raffaele 1986: 172-173). It is also alleged that the highly criticised ‘Project IC’ (which granted ICs to non-citizens who subsequently became eligible to vote) started during Tun Mustapha’s rule and became widespread after the entry of Umno into Sabah.
Brown also alleged that other Sabah Chief Ministers such as Harris Salleh and Joseph Pairin Kitingan who were thought to be ‘clean’ were also corrupt. Harris allegedly had one or more Swiss bank accounts to which he appropriated timber rents, while the Kitingan brothers hid timber money in Hong Kong. According to Raphael Pura, “once each of Sabah’s chief ministers assumed office, they simply became new crooks” (Brown 2001: 226). Current Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman is also not free from allegations of corruption. The popular Sarawak Report website alleged that the current Sabah strongman is linked to money laundering of RM40m, a charge which he has yet to deny.
Hence, when political elites of Sabah and Sarawak call for the ‘Borneo Agenda’, they ignore the deeper and more desperate structural problems of Sabah and Sarawak, namely poverty, inequality, lack of public infrastructure, lack of jobs, abuse of power and corruption.
Hence, if there is no change to the political structure and governance systems of the East Malaysian states, the old system that nurtures strongmen rule which neglects the real needs of the poor and the downtrodden will persist.
Towards a ‘People’s Agenda’
Where then is the agenda to restructure Sabah and Sarawak’s political and governance systems?
An alarming poverty rate, uneven development and weak governance are critical issues that are being overshadowed by the vacuous call of the elites for a ‘Borneo Agenda’.
Despite being given the mandate to protect the rights and interests of the people in Sabah and Sarawak, the BN has failed to perform as a responsible and pro-people government. In fact, the ruling government is responsible for the sorry state of Sabah and Sarawak. Similarly, the local opposition leaders also continue to demand recognition of a ‘Borneo Agenda’.
And yet, this ‘Borneo Agenda’ is meaningless if it continues to perpetuate poverty, inequality and abuse of power. Worse, it is easily used by irresponsible leaders as a tool to enrich themselves and strengthen their grip on the states.
What Sabah and Sarawak thus need is a ‘Peoples’ Agenda’, one that does not talk about vacuous issues of regional autonomy, of the 18 or 20 points but which focuses on the real needs, interests and well-being of the local populace.
After almost 50 years of nationhood, the people of Sabah and Sarawak deserve better than mere rhetoric like the ‘Borneo Agenda’. They need government that puts people at the forefront of its development struggle. They need a ‘People’s Agenda’!
Dr Faisal S Hazis, recently published Domination and Contestation: Muslim Bumi-putera Politics in Sarawak (2012). He lectures in Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.