What Rainforest?


A Letter To The Borneo Post (July 28, 2008)
August 18, 2008, 10:37 am
Filed under: Campaign, Media Reports

Dear Editor

I refer to your report dated July 16, 2008 on page 17 – Festival organisers regret action of activists.

I would like to point out to you an inexcusable error which identified Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice president Sivarasa Rasiah as the leader of the What Rainforest? Demonstration at the entrance of the Sarawak Cultural Village on July 13.

For your information, the said demonstration was organised by the Sarawak Dayak Iban Association (Sadia) and led by me as its secretary-general.

In fact, I was there trying to make a speech to highlight the plight of the Sarawak indigenous people as symbolically represented by the 60 Ibans whose livelihood and culture are afflicted by largely oil palm-based land grab incidents.

YB Sivarasa was at the SCV as the RWMF festival-goer and like other symphatisers showed up at the candlelight vigil on his own will. As a human rights lawyer, he intervened when he overheard the police threatened to arrest me.

Therefore, it’s baffling to me that your reporter could get his/her facts so glaringly wrong!

What is more appalling is the article only sought the views of the RWMF’s organiser but didn’t bother to seek any clarification from me or YB Sivarasa.

That to me reflected the biasness of your publication and the shoddy, unprofessional and unethical reporting of Borneo Post.

On July 14, the same appalling journalism standards were applied in your page 4 report.

Although the leaflet reported to disseminate ‘sarcastic’ message didn’t carry the name of the campaign organiser but the website -www.whatrainforest.com – was made available.

Your reporter and editor should have made an effort to contact us for comments and give us the opportunity to enlighten him/her on why the RWMF was targeted instead of making your own conclusion that the campaign was ‘barking up the wrong tree’.

As such, it’s my sincere hope that you will publish a correction soonest.

For good measure, I will inform YB Sivarasa of this misleading report which implied that the campaign was politically-motivated thus dismissing its legitimate concerns.

Note: This letter was faxed to Borneo Post on July 28, 2008. however, until today (Aug 18 ) Borneo Post has yet to publish a correction.


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