Selamat Ari Gawai, Gayu Guru Gerai Nyamai!
It’s a lovely holiday in Sarawak today, but sadly local newspaper headlines report “sad” news that entrepreneur/radio deejay/politician Peter John Apai has been “thought of” as missing. (NO, he hasn’t been arrested!)
No one wishes ill will of this very colourful individual, but if this whole drama is just another shameless tactic to gain publicity for his radio show and for his foreign sponsors…then I hope he has a terrible hangover that lasts a week!
Basically, he’s been talking trash about Sarawak since last year’s Sarawak State Election, where he tried to stir problems for the government (and support for certain PKR candidates)…after getting considerable financial support from certain individuals in the UK…who are further backed by groups still shaded in mystery.
His foreign-funded radio show Radio Free Sarawak has not been as big a hit as the local opposition had hoped for, and this latest saga has actually been the biggest publicity he’s received in quite a while.
Since he’s said a lot of not-so-nice things on the air, I’m pretty sure he’s pissed off a lot of people in Sarawak and I’d expect he knows this all too well.
This guy is a shrewd businessman and a charismatic (though unsuccessful) politician so I’m guessing he’s calculated the risks and benefits of coming home this Gawai.
But for some quarters to insinuate that members of the local “Secret Police” “abducted” the deejay – that’s a bit of a stretch for most Sarawakians, no matter how you spin it (and spin it they have)!
And since he loves to go on and on about local politics on his radio show (basically to drum up support for the opposition parties) some people may think he’s quite the big shot in local politics and thus this abduction theory has been spun to focus on the political intrigues at play.
But the fact of the matter is, the last thing the local politicians would want to do is to pull a stunt like this. All this drama does is provide publicity FOR the deejay. None of them would want that, would they?
For some of them, I’m sure they’d rather haul him to court and sue him for slander (some of them would have a pretty strong case, too!).
Anyway, like I said before, I’m sure everyone wishes him well and we all hope that like many of us this Gawai, he too is back home celebrating with family and friends.
Hopefully, when he gets home, I just hope he informs his pals at PKR, so they won’t worry too much.
How The Star Sarawak Edition reported it:
Radio Free Sarawak DJ’s disappearance has everyone baffled
BY DIANA ROSE
May 31, 2012
MIRI: The disappearance of Radio Free Sarawak DJ, 48-year-old Peter John Jaban, has left the authorities and opposition leaders who were with him Thursday morning baffled.
His counsel DAP lawyer Alan Ling said they were going to wait until 4.30pm before lodging a police report.
Jaban’s Radio Free Sarawak founder-editor and partner Clare Rewcastle Brown who was contacted the media has confirmed that Jaban was “whisked” away by three men whom she alleged were unidentified plainclothes police personnel.
She was quoted as saying “we are desperately trying to find where Jaban is and why he was pulled from a car without proper reason by unidentified people”.
Dr Michael Teo, who was with Jaban when the incident happened, said they were “stopped by a brown Proton car in front of Tamu Muhibbah in the city centre. They were three men in it. They all looked native. One of them came out and Jaban came out of the car with all the bags. He spoke with one of the men and then entered the car and left me and my driver without a word.
“All this happened with half a minute and I am lost,” said Dr Teo.
Jaban’s counsel, DAP lawyer Alan Ling, said he had spoken with the Crime Division Head in Miri and confirmed that the authorities had not received instructions to arrest Jaban.
Dr Teo said he was waiting for further instruction from his party’s lawyer in Kuching on what action to take next.
If the plain clothes personnel were a special police task force from Bukit Aman, the standard procedure calls for them to lodge a police report here before arresting Jaban, Ling said.
How The Borneo Post posted it:
Mystery of missing announcer
June 1, 2012
MIRI: Radio Free Sarawak broadcaster Peter John has not been heard of since he was whisked away by unknown men while on his way to the city centre from the airport after arriving from Kota Kinabalu yesterday morning.
Dr Michael Teo, the PKR chief here, was driving Peter to his clinic for a check-up when they were intercepted by another car with three men inside.
Peter got out and spoke to them and then followed them without telling the doctor where he was going.
This was disclosed by Batu Lintang assemblyman See Chee How who flew in from Kuching to hold a press conference on the disappearance of Peter here yesterday afternoon.
See said, “Peter spoke to them and he just left with the car. Dr Teo was quite anxious and did not know what was happening. He did not notice the car plate number as it happened quite fast.”
Later in his Facebook posting See said, “Upon his arrival, PJ (Peter John) said he feels unwell and needs medication, hence he walked with Dr Teo and went straight into Dr Teo’s car and they left.”
Along the road near Taman Pelita, a car stopped in front of Dr Teo’s car. One or three guys came out and PJ got out to talk to them. Then, PJ left with them without getting back to tell Dr Teo who they are.”
When the press asked where Dr Teo was during the press conference as he was the last person seen with Peter, Alan Ling the Piassau assemblyman who was also at the conference said, “He is in the house (resting). Dr Teo was very tired and I asked him to go back and rest.”
See said they did not want to accuse anyone and trust the police would do a professional job in solving the disappearance of the broadcaster.
“We are taking this seriously as we are worried about his whereabouts but we don’t want to make any accusation against anybody.”
See added that Peter messaged him through the phone from Kota Kinabalu International Airport before boarding a flight to Miri.
“Around 9 this morning, I received a message from Peter from Kota Kinabalu saying that his documents were taken by the police at Kota Kinabalu Airport for photocopy. Police also took photos of him from every angle before letting him board the aircraft to fly to Miri.”
Peter also said that the police in Kota Kinabalu told him that they had alerted the Special Branch here to question him further and would refer his arrival here to the police headquarters in Kuching.
Soon after he received the text message, See immediately contacted Ling to meet Peter at the Miri Airport.
Ling who is a lawyer by profession then met up with police officers here and was told that there was no instruction to arrest Peter on his arrival.
“We also called up ACP Mun Kok Keong (Miri police chief) and headquarters in Kuching and were told that there was no instruction (to arrest),” said See.
Ling promised the police that if Peter was required for investigation or questioning he would bring him to meet them.
“We trust each other and we are all professionals. I don’t accuse police of doing anything. Police in Sarawak are actually very professional and I can trust them on that,” said See.
See added that he had yet to contact Peter’s family but would do so when he got back to Kuching.
Asked whether Peter’s visit might be tied to political development in the state, See said; “He is coming back to celebrate Gawai with his family in Samarahan but he has a lot of friends here – he was probably coming here to visit his friends before going to Kuching. I didn’t ask him anything.”
At the time of his disappearance Peter was carrying just a backpack with him.
On whether there had been any report made on Peter’s disappearance See said, “No police report yet as we cannot rush into conclusion without full facts.”
When told that Malaysiakini reported that Peter was arrested by the police here, See said “I don’t read Malaysiakini.”
Meanwhile, Mun when contacted by Borneo Post confirmed that there was no instruction to arrest Peter and they did not arrest him as claimed by the news portal.
Borneo Post also contacted Immigration Department state director Robert Lian for further clarification who confirmed that the department did not send anybody to arrest and investigate Peter.