Here's an excellent article from Rob (VK3BVW) from his blog Mount Evelyn DX Report on the temporary suspension of Radio Free Sarawak broadcasts.
Transmissions were suspended from May 7, until further notice. Radio Free Malaysia is also reported to have closed down. I expect to see both these stations operating again in the future.
The public face of RFS is Clare Rewcastle Brown. In a recent email, she said:
“We are just taking a pre-planned rest like we did after the (2011) Sarawak election. We are such a small team and have worked non-stop for a year to provide people with information and support up to the election and now we are taking a month to re-charge our batteries.”
She went on to say that the team would "re-group soon".
An interesting article in The Star Online news outlet tells the story, and mentions RFS receiving the Free Media Pioneer Award during World Press Freedom Day on May 3. RFS began broadcasting in November 2010. Brown said: "We were not expecting the award, which was a huge boost, but my staff are only human and they were promised a holiday and they are getting it! We will be back, I am sure, bigger and better.”
Some feedback from listeners at the station's website included these comments:
Clare, Michael, Christina, K Burung Tiong, Papa Orang Utan, you are big celebrities in the Sarawak. Please, please don't shut down RFS for good. I witnessed longhouse folks looking forward to gathering around their little radios each day. You are much loved. RFS gave people the platform to voice what they have been feeling all these times, and it liberates and empowers them. The state election will be here before you know it. Please tell your listeners how they can help you continue RFS. (Linda)
This is awful news - free radio stations are essential to democracy. I hope it will not be too long till you are back on the air. If anything, I hope that there will be free radio stations for all parts of Malaysia one day! (lovemalaysia2)
Perjuangan belum selesai, thank you RFS you all did an extraordinary sacrifices. So long we meet again. WE SALUTE YE !!!!! (Anak Melikin)
The website also stated:
"While most PR supporters are still reeling from the results of the GE13 amidst widespread rigging that are essentially acts of treason, activists and ordinary people alike are not giving up on booting out the BN government The have set their sights on the 11th state election that will have to be conducted latest by early 2016."