RTHK union criticise government for ruling out internal candidates for chief editor

Staff favourite for post of broadcasting director is considered 'unsuitable'

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 21 August, 2014, 4:44am
UPDATED : Thursday, 21 August, 2014, 5:47am

The RTHK staff union criticised the government yesterday for ruling out an internal promotion in the search for the broadcaster's next chief.

This came after the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, which oversees RTHK, said it had not found a suitable candidate within RTHK to fill the post of director of broadcasting.

Deputy director Tai Kin-man, who enjoys considerable support from RTHK staff, was considered unsuitable.

"The union expresses strong anger and disappointment towards the bureau's decision to ignore the union's demand and once again deny internal promotion of staff to the post of director of broadcasting," the RTHK Programme Staff Union wrote in an open letter to commerce minister Greg So Kam-leung.

Staff have been dissatisfied that all three directors appointed since 2007 came from outside. Two were administrative officers.

Incumbent Roy Tang Yun-kwong was appointed in 2011 amid criticism that he lacked experience.

Staff described his appointment as an attempt to muzzle the public broadcaster, which pro-Beijing political parties had criticised as "too liberal".

In its letter yesterday, the union urged the government to stop its open recruitment for the position and called on it to explain why Tai, with a long career in broadcasting, was considered unsuitable for the job. It also asked the government to make public its job requirements for the post.

Citing some of the upcoming projects for the broadcaster, such as the expansion of its digital TV service and the application for funding for the RTHK's new broadcasting house, the union said internal promotion of veteran staff was the best option.

So responded that he had "no role" in the recruitment and promotion of civil servants.

He said he believed RTHK would abide by its established practices to ensure the hiring procedures were open and fair.

The union has invited the minister to attend a meet-the-staff session early next month.