A TV2 documentary series which is to be on aired from 26 April to 7 May, at 12.20pm to 12.30pm under a mandarin program called Galeri Mandarin Nasional, were forced to off the air today(28.4.2010) under the direct instruction of RTM’s Ketua Pengarah Penyiaran Datuk Ibrahim Yahya.
2 episode of this documentary were on aired on Monday(26.4) and Tuesday(27.4) but forced to off the day today at 12.20pm.The documentary series is reporting on social impact faced by more than 10,000 natives of Belaga area, who were forced to be relocated to Sungai Asap and Sungai Koyan area in 1998, to give way to the construction of famous Bakun Dam.(unforfunately not a prestigious one)
Chou Z Lam, producer of the documentary believe this off the air action, is another news interference incident by BN government during and after the Hulu Selangor by election.When he approached his supervisors and several officers of RTM to obtain explanation of the off the air decision,Ketua Pengarah Bilik Berita,Jumat Engson, who said he can fully responsible on that decision, told Chou that this was due to some “sensitive elements” in the documentary which could seems harmfull to the on coming Sibu by election as well as the Sarawak state election. He also said the documentary could be postponed to other time when situation allowed.(after the state election)
Chou felt regret to the decision made by RTM management and he personally made an appeal to the Deputy Minister of News, communication,culture and arts YB Ng Sai Kee to interfere and resolve the matter. Unfortunately, the deputy minister failed to assist and only telling Chou that “we would not interfere into your(RTM) internal matter.”She only communicated with Chou via her private secretary, Mr Lee.
Chou felt deeply sorry for the peoples of Sungai Asap whom he had interviewed, for their problems and voices is being prevented to be heard by majority of the peoples both in east Malaysia and west Malaysia.He think RTM’s measure to suppress the audience as well as the natives of Sarawak is totally against what has been championed by our PM through his 1 Malaysia slogan, which claimt “people first”( rakyat didahulukan) If Sibu by election and Sarawak state election are the reasons for this off the air action, then, what RTM implementing is actually “ politik diutamakan”.
He would like the RTM ketua pengarah to reconsider the off the air decision, so that RTM’s creditability can be restored and benefit of the natives as well as the audience can be assured.
Chou Z Lam( TV2 producer).