Citizens' Radio on air tonight

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 20 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 20 April, 2008, 12:00am

Six lawmakers will show up in support of unlicensed Citizens' Radio tonight when it resumes broadcasting from a Mong Kok location after a three-month silence.

Station founder Tsang Kin-shing yesterday reinstalled FM broadcasting facilities at a secret Lion Rock hillside site at a cost of HK$70,000, to prepare for tonight's programme - Open Airwaves - which will go to air at 7pm. It is to last an hour on FM102.8.

Mr Tsang said the police had contacted him, asking who would participate in the broadcast and whether he had obtained a licence for it. They had not told him to halt the broadcast, he said.

Six pan-democratic lawmakers have promised to attend the broadcast, including the Democratic Party's Lee Wing-tat; Unionist legislator Lee Cheuk-yan; the Civic Party's Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung; Emily Lau Wai-hing from The Frontier; and Albert Chan Wai-yip and 'Long Hair' Leung Kwok-hung, of the League of Social Democrats.

Despite an injunction barring the station from broadcasting, the six also appeared on a broadcast on January 10 from Mong Kok. None of them has been prosecuted.

However, Mr Chan said he would 'welcome' prosecution. 'If the government does nothing about continued illegal broadcasting, it means it is not enforcing the Telecommunications Ordinance seriously.'

Szeto Wah, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, will also participate in the broadcast.

The veteran democrat has been prosecuted for taking part in an illegal broadcast.

In January, the Eastern Court ruled that the ordinance was unconstitutional. But Magistrate Douglas Yau Tak-hong suspended his ruling at the government's request, meaning the law stands but is open to challenge.

The government had sought an injunction to force the station off the air while it is appealing against the constitutionality ruling. The appeal will be heard in September.