Siburan folks cry foul over ‘seditious’ Facebook posts, lodge police report

SIBURAN, July 28: Some 30 villagers from around Siburan area and some concerned members of the public lodged a police report against several individuals for allegedly posting seditious remarks about them participating in a 722 rally last week.

The remarks made by the individuals were said to be demeaning, especially to the Dayak villagers, alleging the latter were given money to participate.

Parti Bumi Kenyalang (PBK) president Voon Lee Shan who assisted the villagers to lodge a police report at the Siburan Police Station this afternoon said the report was lodged under the Sedition Act for stirring ill feelings among the communities through Facebook.

“I would humbly advise our people to refrain from posts of this nature which can disrupt the harmony of the people in Sarawak.

“The 722 rally was a legal procession and legal assembly held at Padang Merdeka last week. A permit has been given and it was an orderly assembly. It was the right of the people to assemble and we cannot accuse the people who came of have been given money to participate or they have been forced to participate because they all came voluntarily,” he told DayakDaily after the villagers lodged a police report this afternoon.

Seen are Voon (left) together with Siburan villagers and other members of the public after lodging a police report at the Siburan Police Station over an alleged seditious Facebook posts about them.

Voon said if anybody felt that the villagers should not have participated in the rally, they should have raised the issue earlier with the relevant authorities.

“I think the authorities were very careful in issuing this permit. They have investigated those who participated in it, investigated who were the organisers and they knew that the assembly was orderly and they knew that nothing unlawful has been done,” he said.

However, Voon said, it was sad that there are some people making such remarks on Facebook which could be seditious and instigate ill feelings among the people of Sarawak.

“We Sarawakians believe that we don’t see people as Dayaks, Malays and Chinese. Let us work together for a better Sarawak,” he said.

The rally which was held at Padang Merdeka last July 22 saw the participation of members of Sarawak for Sarawakians (S4S), Sarawak Association for Peoples’ Aspirations (Sapa) and other non-governmental organisations including some villagers from outside of Kuching.

Sapa president Dominique Ng said that day more than 5,000 people participated in the rally which was deemed a huge success without any untoward incidents.

Seen are Voon (centre, in brown, long-sleeved shirt) together with Siburan villagers and other members of the public after lodging a police report at the Siburan Police Station over alleged seditious Facebook posts.

Meanwhile, Voon continued, the rally was held because participating Sarawakians wanted to see Sarawak gaining independence by way of international law. He said that there are many countries or regions now which are still fighting for either autonomy, secession or independence.

“Sarawak is one of them. The people are not happy with the administration of Malaya, how Malaysia was formed, and they have a right to voice this out to the federal government so that the federal government would know what are the wants and needs of the people of Sarawak, and hopefully the federal government would come up with a solution,” he said. — DayakDaily