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Archive for October 14th, 2011

This morning at the Sibu high court a judge ruled that the villagers who were charged for harvesting oil palm fruits from their own land, were to be arrested-this touched off a confrontation with the police because the villagers said they harvested the oil palm only after the developer linked to Lanang MP Tiong Thye King, had failed to give them any dividends for 14 years! Since the oil palm are planted on their own land they have started to harvest the oil palm themselves. After the villagers and the police almost came to blows, the judge withdrew the warrant of arrest.

This has become a more and more regular incidents in the joint-venture oil palm plantations where the Dayaks feel cheated by their developer partner. In another episode in Rumah Ranggon, Niah, the plantation developer brought in 100 gangster to stop villagers from harvesting the oil palm, after villagers complained that the dividends given had been incommensurate. Finally the developer there agreed to give more dividends to the villagers involved.

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Elections are great events for media-especially on-line media that have advantages over restricted mainstream media. Readership will shoot up to cloud 9 whenever a `scoop’ is found by a media during elections. So it is not surprising that the competitive on-line media has started its version of verbal tusslesĀ  ahead of the poll to position each other as the better source of news. The most recent `action’ is the insinuation by Malaysian Insider that that long time indie media Malaysiakini is `talking’ to BN friendly Malay mail. While the talk can be any harmless thing, the MI insinuate that it can be a share swap -no evidence provided by such a `credible’ media- that could undermine the independence of Malaysiakini-its rival! After the charge was denied the MI followed with another piece to claim that the `talk’ between Malaysiakini and Malay Mail had been confirmed by Malaysiakini! So: what is confirmed really, Malaysia Insider? The on-line media is not just doing `spinning’-it is making a serious charge after insinuating that there is a talk that will compromise Malaysiakini’s independence! It seems like a shit fight action where all rules are thrown out of the window!

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