Sabotage suspected to be behind ruckus at distribution of digital TV decoders

Chong Chieng Jen

KUCHING, Nov 21: Democratic Action Party (DAP) Sarawak chairman Chong Chieng Jen alleges that there were elements of sabotage and jealousy prompted by the successful first day of digital TV decoders distribution yesterday.

Responding to the rowdy incident that occured during the second day of distribution at the party’s Kuching office today, Chong claimed, “We strongly suspect that there are certain quarters who are jealous of the success of the first day of distribution and thus planned this act to sabotage our good intent and effort.

“DAP Kuching regrets the untowards incident today in association with the distribution of TV decoders by MyTV. We have similar crowd size (today) and everything went smoothly yesterday, where people collected their respective number slips, queued up and (in an) orderly (manner) got their decoders from MyTV.

“Suddenly on the second day (today), we had a few nasty characters instigating the crowd, many who are not from Kuching. Then there was a sudden power outage. All these are just too much of a simple coincidence,” he alleged in a statement.

Party members on the ground had apperently reported that there were a few individuals among the crowd who started to shout abuses since early morning and instigated others to ignore all instruction to collect queue numbers.

The situation turned chaotic when the alleged instigators started throwing objects.

“These few persons seemed to be minded to create rowdiness and sabotage the giving out of the decoders. As if that was not enough, there was also a sudden electricity outage which brought the whole distribution process to a halt,” Chong revealed.

In order to control the sitution, the DAP Kuching office had no choice but to call the police and Federal Reserve Unit (FRU) to assist.

Given the experience today, Chong disclosed they will stop the use of DAP offices for similar distributions in other towns in Sarawak.

“We will arrange for and urge MyTV and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) to rent a bigger hall for subsequent distribution of the decoders,” he revealed, adding that they would continue to press MyTV to distribute the decoders to the people of Sarawak.

Though such obligation was not specifically provided for in the contract entered into between MyTV and the previous Barisan Nasional (BN) government, Chong asseted nonetheless, they shall make sure that the people of Sarawak will not be short-changed.

According to Chong, the digitalisation of TV broadcasts was an iniative started by BN and MyTV was thereby appointed for the project. Since the Pakatan Harapan (PH) found that to be a good project, they decided to continue with it.

“However, MyTV did not make much effort in distributing the decoders in Sarawak. The contract entered into between BN and MyTV did not provide for such extra effort for distribution in Sarawak. Many of the decoders sent out through post were returned unclaimed and MyTV did not make any subsequent effort to deliver or to distribute it.

“It was only upon the insistence of the DAP representatives that MyTV finally agreed to distribute the decoders in Sarawak. As such, the DAP Kuching office was used to facilitate the distribution and also to save costs,” Chong explained.

Meanwhile, he also thanked the police and FRU for their swift response to help control the crowd and contain undersirable characters. — DayakDaily