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Wednesday March 9, 2011

Rogue radio under investigation

KUCHING: The Home Ministry will not hesitate to take action against the people behind Radio Free Sarawak if they are found to have flouted the law.

Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said police investigations had started after a report was lodged. “If we have enough evidence, we will take action against them. This has nothing to do with politics. It is more on the issue of spreading lies and being malicious,” he told reporters here yesterday.

On whether the Internal Security Act (ISA) would be used against them, Hishammuddin said the Act would only be applied if they were found to have threatened the security of the country.

Recently, Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) Youth had lodged a police report against Radio Free Sarawak.

Clare Rewcastle Brown, the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, and Peter John Jaban, an Iban activist known as Papa Orang Utan to his listeners, went public on Feb 23 saying they were responsible for the blog Sarawak Report and the radio station in a British tabloid report.

Sarawak Report and Radio Free Sarawak have been very critical of Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud.

On another issue, Hishammuddin said he had met Taib earlier in the afternoon.

“We discussed a lot of issues such as economic transformation and politics and what has to be done for Sarawak,” he said.

He added that negative elements as seen in previous few by-elections where the Opposition harped on hatred and religious issues might affect the state election.

“We will take stern action against the culprits if they are found to have flouted the law. Sarawak is a peaceful state with the various races living harmoniously and we should not let this affect the already peaceful living here,” he said.

He also said the people need to have self-censorship when it comes to accessing information.

“We cannot bar anyone from coming to the state as it is a borderless world now. So the people must be mature enough in screening the information which can be real or false,” he said when asked whether Opposition leaders would be barred from coming to the state during the state election.

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