RTHK will be run by an insider ... one day
The civil service veteran who was picked to head RTHK even though he had no broadcasting experience will be replaced by someone from within the station when a suitable replacement becomes available, the government says.
Speaking yesterday at a meeting of the Legislative Council's information technology and broadcasting panel, the permanent secretary for commerce and economic development, Elizabeth Tse Man-yee, said the government had no intention of routinely appointing directors from outside RTHK.
Roy Tang Yun-kwong was appointed RTHK's director of broadcasting five weeks ago. A survey by the RTHK Programme Staff Union found 88 per cent of production staff opposed his appointment because of his lack of broadcasting experience.
Tse (pictured) said training had been stepped up among RTHK staff to fill management vacancies.
'If there is a suitable candidate internally in RTHK, we will launch the promotion process as soon as possible,' Tse said. 'But at this moment, we have no plan to do that.'
Concerns have been raised about whether Tang, a former deputy secretary for labour and welfare, has the ability to do the job and if he can uphold RTHK's editorial independence.
Janet Mak Lai-ching, chairwoman of the union, said: 'A chief editor needs the experience to know how to deal with attacks from outside. A person who works his way up internally will have such experience, while training as an administration officer only tells one to assist the government in executing its policies. Now it's like telling a lawyer to do surgery. It's a mismatch.'
Tang said he had been talking to management staff and knew their concerns. He held the weekly editorial and monthly programme meetings, and said he could handle the job despite his lack of experience.
Despite receiving 26 applications, Tse said the government did not find suitable candidates in the open recruitment process earlier this year.