Wong Yuk-man

Radio rebels break their silence with street show

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 April, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 21 April, 2008, 12:00am


Related topics

The activists who run the outlawed Citizens' Radio made another unauthorised broadcast last night after a three-month break - then vowed to go back on air again in Causeway Bay within two weeks.

Taking part in the show at a pedestrian zone in Mong Kok were the founder of the rebel radio, Tsang Kin-shing, veteran pro-democracy activist Szeto Wah, and the chairman of the League of Social Democrats, Wong Yuk-man.

Five lawmakers joined in: Democrat Lee Wing-tat, Emily Lau Wai-hing of The Frontier, Albert Chan Wai-yip and Leung Kwok-hung of the League of Social Democrats, and unionist Lee Cheuk-yan.

Legislator Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung, who Mr Tsang had said would appear, was absent. Mr Cheung could not be reached for comment last night.

A spokesman for the Office of the Telecommunications Authority said it had investigated the use of unlicensed radio-transmitter equipment and the unlicensed radio transmission detected at FM102.8.

'We will prosecute the offenders if there is sufficient evidence,' he said.

Transmission equipment had been set up on a Lion Rock hillside and the broadcast was said to be able to cover most parts of Kowloon and northern Hong Kong Island.

Mr Tsang said he and his colleagues planned to make another broadcast at Times Square in Causeway Bay within two weeks. He said he would consider running regular live programmes via public airwaves if manpower and resources permitted.

'We have the right to broadcast. It is a matter of freedom of speech.'

The activists resumed broadcasting after saying they had waited long enough for the government to review the Telecommunications Ordinance, which was ruled by a court as unconstitutional in January. The ruling was later suspended but triggered a series of complicated and interrelated court cases.

The programme, Open Airwaves, went to air at 7pm and lasted for an hour on FM102.8 and on the internet. It drew a crowd of about 100.

The legislators and activists took turns to voice their discontent with the government's refusal to open up the airwaves.

'We have waited for the government for three months. It has proved to be a waste of time,' Mr Leung said.

Mr Szeto said: 'I fear no prosecution. We should not be afraid of taking actions of civil disobedience.'

About a dozen Ofta officers were in the crowd. They took pictures and videotaped events but did not intervene.