HKTV staff to demand answers over TV licence rejection

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 24 October, 2013, 4:29am
UPDATED : Thursday, 24 October, 2013, 4:29am

Everyone involved will keep fighting until the government gives a thorough explanation for refusing Hong Kong Television Network's application for a free-to-air television licence, former staff members say.

"I was a bit disappointed [at the rejection]," former HKTV production assistant Martina Mak said. "But the feelings in my heart for seeking justice and wanting to know the reasons have not cooled down."

Former news department director Lau Ying-tak said Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying was just dodging responsibility. "He owes all of Hong Kong an explanation," he said.

The pair, among 320 HKTV staff sacked last week, have joined the sit-in at the government headquarters in protest against the rejection.

They were speaking after Leung on Tuesday rejected calls for greater transparency over the decision to award licences to only two of the three applicants.

About 100 former and current HKTV staff have formed a "justice alliance" and say they will take turns to camp at the Tamar headquarters until at least Saturday to wait for an explanation.

"Leung has come out to answer, but what he said did not clear everyone's doubts," Mak said. "We see that many Hongkongers have the same doubts as we do on this matter."

HKTV head Ricky Wong Wai-kay has asked staff and former staff at the Tamar site "to go home and rest" and "use a healthy mind and body to fight this long-term battle together".

Mak said: "We know our boss cares about us very much. We're grateful, but we're doing this by ourselves … I think we should keep going."

She added that many HKTV staff members supported Wong's move to seek a judicial review of the government's decision on the issue of licences.

Tens of thousands of protesters in black T-shirts marched to the government headquarters in Admiralty on Sunday to demand an explanation for why HKTV's application was rejected while i-Cable's Fantastic TV and PCCW's Hong Kong Television Entertainment got licences.

"I haven't set a deadline for myself to leave. I will stay as every colleague is holding on to this, and especially as we know that we're not alone," said Lau.

"The society as a whole deserves an answer. Many Hong Kong people are very supportive, giving us warm encouragement and resources - some of them bring us breakfast too."