Pan-democrats slam liaison office for intervention in free-to-air TV licence saga

 Zhang Xiaoming

Moderate pan-democrats have issued a joint letter to the head of the central government's liaison office protesting against its alleged intervention in Hong Kong affairs, in particular over the television licence saga.

Saturday, 16 November, 2013, 6:20am

Leung Chun-ying says public need time to understand HKTV decision

Leung Chun-ying at the Newspaper Society lunch. Photo: Felix Wong

Leung Chun-ying yesterday sought to downplay the impact on his governance of the massive protests over television licensing and his administration's resulting plunge in popularity.

16 Nov 2013 - 6:20am 9 comments

Voters annoyed at representatives not voting in TV licence issue

Lawmakers are voting for a motion to use the council's powers and privileges ordinance, forcing the government to disclose more information on the decision-making process on issuing the free-to-air TV licenses. Photo: Felix Wong

The performance of lawmakers during last week's vote on the television licence row has raised questions about how well functional constituency legislators represent their electors.

16 Nov 2013 - 6:25am

Pro-Beijing Ng critical of Exco convener’s HKTV remarks

Executive Council convenor Lam Woon-kwong. Photo: Felix Wong

A pro-Beijing political figure on Thursday criticised Executive Council convener Lam Woon-kwong for “saying a little too much” about the television licence saga.

Ng Hon-mun, a former deputy to the National People’s Congress, said Lam, as convener of the chief executive’s top advisory body, should follow the government’s mind.

14 Nov 2013 - 6:02pm 1 comment

Low bar for new TV stations will mean poor programmes

The quality of Hong Kong's television programmes may drop further. Photo: Felix Wong

The Communications Authority was wrong to recommend awarding three new free-to-air television licences; the government was right to reject such advice. While it is good to have more choice, what good is it when that means choosing between "bad" and "worse" programmes?

14 Nov 2013 - 2:43am 3 comments

We need better local TV, to give our children a sense of belonging

Thousands of HKTV supporters gather outside Legislative Council in Tamar. Photo: Felix Wong

Last Wednesday, I went to the HKTV protest. I did not go out of concerns over the erosion of Hong Kong's free market or the government's lack of transparency - both very valid reasons. Instead, I went for my children.

13 Nov 2013 - 3:45am 2 comments

Ma told to quit as 'embarrassment to film industry'

Lawmaker Ma Fung-kwok at the Legco debate. Photo: Felix Wong

Cultural and sports lawmaker Ma Fung-kwok is under fire as he was accused of betraying Hong Kong's creative sector in the free-TV licence row and the Hong Kong Ballet censorship scandal.

12 Nov 2013 - 10:58am 4 comments

Leung Chun-ying dismisses call for review of Exco vetting process

Lam Woon-kwong's call was not taken up by Leung Chun-ying.

Lam Woon-kwong's call for a review of the vetting process that led to the controversial decision to issue only two free-to-air TV licences was brushed aside yesterday by Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying and other members of his cabinet.

12 Nov 2013 - 6:29am 14 comments

Try downloading some fresh thinking is Google's tip for Hong Kong

Eric Schmidt

Google's chairman Eric Schmidt is a truly busy man. But still I managed to grab him for a 30-minute interview during his recent visit to Hong Kong - a city he says he is a big fan of, though one he feels now faces more challenges than opportunities.

11 Nov 2013 - 5:17am 1 comment

Opponents may regret forcing wounded Leung into a corner

Thousands of HKTV supporters gather outside Legco. Photo: Felix Wong

In Hong Kong, it's no longer clear who is governing. The ongoing free-to-air TV licence fiasco is just one glaring case in point.

Some people keep asking why the government granted only two licences instead of three, denying one to Hong Kong Television Network. If this is a valid question, then why not grant four or, for that matter, 400 licences?

7 Nov 2013 - 8:39pm 6 comments

Legco bid for HKTV licence probe defeated

Lawmakers after 12 hours of debate voted against creating a special Legislative Council investigation into the HKTV licence row on Thursday. Photo: Felix Wong

The motion to invoke special powers to investigate the HKTV licence saga was defeated in the Legislative Council late Thursday afternoon following two days of debate.

7 Nov 2013 - 8:36pm 4 comments

Liaison Office 'sounded out' Legco members on TV licence probe vote

Supporters of HKTV gather outside Legco yesterday as lawmakers voted against a TV licences investigation motion. Photo: David Wong

A pro-government lawmaker who voted for a Legislative Council investigation bid into the free-to-air television licence saga admitted he had been approached by the central government's liaison office.

8 Nov 2013 - 2:57am 4 comments

TV industry still divided over HKTV’s licence rejection

Robert Chua Wah-peng. Photo: Dickson Lee

Three weeks after the government’s controversial decision, veterans familiar with the television industry remained divided over whether officials made the right choice in denying Hong Kong Television Network’s (HKTV) application for a free-to-air licence, while approving that of i-Cable and PCCW’s subsidiaries.

4 Nov 2013 - 10:00pm

Exco chief says HKTV decision reflected 'cautious' approach to local market

Lam Woon-kwong, Executive Council convenor

Exco convenor Lam Woon-kwong has given the most detailed account yet of why Hong Kong Television Network's (HKTV) application for a free-to-air licence was rejected - three days ahead of a crucial vote by lawmakers on the issue.

4 Nov 2013 - 2:36pm 19 comments

Lawmakers will try again for HKTV licence inquiry

Lawmaker Charles Mok. Photo: Edmund So

Pan-democrats are planning to try again in the Legislative Council to force the government to disclosure documents related to its rejection of Hong Kong Television Network’s free-to-air licence application.

A motion to invoke Legco powers to investigate the government’s decision was tabled by lawmaker Charles Mok and defeated last Friday.

28 Oct 2013 - 5:33pm 2 comments