SIBU: Sarawak Dayak Iban Association Rajang branch (Sadia-Rajang) wants the return of statewide radio broadcast of WaiFM, a popular radio station that many listeners tune in to for entertainment, news and important announcements.
Sadia-Rajang had received many complaints from members of the public who had noticed that they were listening to only localised broadcast since early this month.
This means listeners in Miri for example, can only listen to broadcasts from Miri radio station but not from other towns.
”We also want the return of a few popular radio programmes such as ‘Jerita Tuai’ and other similar programmes that exhibit and revive the culture of the indigenous people in Sarawak, namely the Iban, Melanau, Bidayuh and Orang Ulu,” added Tuah Lumpoh, Sadia-Rajang’s deputy chairman in a statement.
Otherwise, national radio broadcaster RTM, especially RTM Sarawak, would lose its appeal and would only remain a one-sided tool of information dissemination, he said.
Meanwhile, the chairman of Sadia-Rajang, Bill Jugah reminded RTM to abide by the principles of the United Nations Declaration On The Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP). Article 16(2) of the declaration says that states must ensure that state-owned media duly reflect indigenous cultural diversity without prejudice to ensure full freedom of expression.
“Perhaps, it is prudent and wise to gather feedback from loyal listeners to comply with the basis of Free, Prior, Informed Consent before embarking on a hastily-made a decision which reflects poor governance of a government-owned agency.
“In such a case, any decision made should be a collective one, not the sole decision of any one person,” Jugah said.