Longhouse brawl: Dr Rundi lodges police report over viral video, audio recording purportedly implicating him

Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom

By Lian Cheng

KUCHING, April 15: Kemena assemblyman Datuk Seri Dr Stephen Rundi has lodged a police report over a video and a separate audio recording that have purportedly implicated him, claiming that they are fake news.

The video which shows a brawl taking place in a longhouse has gone viral on social media. In the video, the location of the longhouse is not mentioned, nor the reasons for the quarrel made known.

Separately, an audio recording has been sent together with the video, giving the impression that the video and the audio are related where the audio purportedly explains what happened in the video.

Meanwhile, the audio recording features a male voice speaking in Iban, supposedly recounting what happened during food distribution at Dr Rundi’s longhouse in Batu Niah.

According to the said recording, Dr Rundi had sent Covid-19 food supply to the longhouse, whereby the latter stated that the food aid should be given to all residents of the longhouse regardless of political inclination.

The speaker in the voice recording stated the headman of the longhouse obeyed the instructions, and asked all residents of the longhouse to obtain the food from his door.

The speaker further stated that the headman then tried to take photos of residents coming for their entitled rations, including those who did not support the ruling coalition of Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).

The speaker in the audio recording claimed, due to the photo-taking, those who are not GPS supporters refused to go to the headmen’s door to collect the food aid and instead, asked the headmen to send the food to them. Their contention was that, they may be accused of wanting the food but not willing to give support later and this was what they did not want to hear.

The speaker then claimed that the headman did not find the reason valid as the food was already available.

Claming that the video and recording is fake news, Dr Rundi, who is also Utilities Minister said he is lodging a police report.

“I am lodging a police report on the fake news,” Dr Rundi told DayakDaily when contacted.

Dr Rundi further disclosed the details of his police report as follows:

“The police report says that since yesterday, a video of a brawl and an audio recording of the incident has been viral on WhatsApp.

“We found that the content of the audio and video circulated on WhatsApp was untrue and had an element of defamation against the Sarawak Utility Minister, Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi, who is also the N69 state assemblyman for Kemena.

“Among the slander made in the audio recording were firstly, the audio recording and the video claims that the incident took place at Dr Stephen Rundi’s longhouse. This fact is false, fake and slanderous.

“The audio and the video on WhatsApp also say that the longhouse was inside the Kemena constituency. This statement is untrue and is defamatory because the longhouse is located outside the Kemena constituency.

“Based on the WhatsApp audio, Dr Rundi came to this longhouse to hand over food supply assistance during the Covid-19 Movement Control Order. This statement is untrue and defamatory.

“The audio content has indirectly implicated Dr Rundi, whose name has been linked to the brawl at the longhouse.

“In this case, we would like to ask the police to investigate the owner of the audio recording and determine further action. We also request thorough investigation on the video and audio to protect the reputation of Dr Rundi.”

Meanwhile, Dr Rundi revealed that he was under quarantine from March 27 to April 10 which was further extended to April 14.

“I was just released (from quarantine) yesterday and am still in Kuching. Nonetheless my service centre staff have completed the distribution of food assistance to 7,053 households in my constituency N69 Kemena without any hitches. Thanks to everyone for their cooperation.

“There were no quarrels,” Dr Rundi disclosed. — DayakDaily