Sungai Asap-Koyan residents, Bakun were furious over RTM – the national tv station decision to air only two episodes of 10-episodes TV documentary highlighting their plights at the resettlement areas on Wednesday.
Wing Miku from Uma Nyaving, Sungai Asap, Bakun a spokesman for his community said the national TV station had disappointed thousands of the TV2 channel viewers in Sg. Asap and Sg. Koyan with the decision.
According to Wing the documentary was scheduled to be aired by TV2 on its Mandarin channel programs starting April 26 to May 7, when met today. However, on Wednesday, they learned that the remaining eights episodes of the documentary will no longer be aired.
“But our hope and happiness that somebody will hear our plights after the series were shown have been cut short, when RTM Director-General decided to stop airing it.
Wing alleged Datuk Ibrahim Yahaya, the RTM Director-General had lied to him and the thousands of Orang Ulu communities in Belaga.
“When we ask Datuk Ibrahim for clarification he told us he was busy and in the mid of a meeting.”
“Many Bakun resettlement residents wonder why the government didn’t want to hear them?”
Wing said the eight remaining episodes were covering very important topic – socio-economic issues plaguing more than 10,000 Orang Ulu since being resettled in Sungai Asap and Sungai Koyan.
“For example, Wing explained. “Episode Four was about the plights of primary school children forced to drop-out of school because of their parents couldn’t afford to pay for their transportation,” he said.
“Episode 5 were about unpaid compensations – for their lands, longhouses at their former place.
“In the last episode we presented sungai Asap residents 12-points claim to the government and Bakun main contractor. It was scheduled to be aired on May 7,” he added.
An official at RTM when contacted via phone today confirmed that the documentary will no longer be on air.
“I was told the documentary has been stopped after two episodes were aired since Monday,”
When asked if he knew the reason why it was abruptly stopped. He said “I was told they received SMS after the first episode was shown. That’s it.”
In a slightly related matter, a senior TV producer Joshua Wong Ngee Choong quit ntv7 on April 20 citing complaints from the top offices over his two recent Chinese talk show programmes focusing on current political developments.
According to Wong, the company Natseven TV Sdn Bhd has now placed restrictions on the “offensive” show Editor’s Time, which “are not justifiable, threaten(s) the independence of my job as producer… is also a form of self-censorship, (and)… is against the principle of fair and independent reporting.
These restrictions have seriously affected the professionalism of the [production] team”.