Robert Chua airs RTHK vision

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 April, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 16 April, 2007, 12:00am

RTHK should transform into the proposed new public service broadcaster and give a third of its air time to government propaganda, veteran broadcaster Robert Chua Wah-peng has suggested.

Parties from across the political spectrum would take up a third of the time, with the remaining time filled with programmes like those currently produced by RTHK, he said.

Mr Chua, who has been in broadcasting for 44 years, was responding to proposals by a government-appointed review committee that RTHK should not be changed into the future public service broadcaster.

The Singaporean-born TV producer helped establish TVB in the late 1960s and introduced Hong Kong's first live variety show, Enjoy Yourself Tonight, as well as the Miss Hong Kong beauty pageant. He is chairman of the Interactive Channel in Hong Kong, whose programmes are available on multiple media channels.

Mr Chua said Director of Broadcasting Chu Pui-hing had been doing a good job.

He suggested retiring all RTHK staff and allowing Mr Chu to rehire only the best talent to work for the proposed broadcasting corporation.

'It's true that some civil servants are overpaid and non-productive,' Mr Chu said. 'A broadcasting corporation should have a free hand to fire such people.'

He said the new body should be given a free TV channel and take up a third of air time with its own programmes, with the remaining two-thirds split between government and different political parties.

'What's wrong with having a government mouthpiece? The government needs its own platform to explain its policies. People can choose other programmes if they don't want propaganda,' he said.

Mr Chua, 61, said the review committee had never solicited his views during the 14-month consultation.