Allocation of public airwaves would be reviewed in the future consultation on public service broadcasting, a senior government official said yesterday. In a Legislative Council motion debate, Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Frederick Ma Si-hang said the government would review the mechanism on licensing and frequency allocation. 'The future public broadcaster may consider distributing part of its airtimes to community programmes. We will also discuss how the body can better utilise the frequencies,' said Mr Ma, who added that more time was needed to prepare for the consultation. The consultation, scheduled to be discussed by a Legco panel at the end of the month, was postponed last week, with Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen telling lawmakers that the issue was 'sensitive and complex'. But the government is still under mounting pressure to review the Telecommunications Ordinance, after the High Count ruled in favour of Citizens' Radio and lifted a government injunction against the unlicensed broadcaster this week. In yesterday's debate, lawmakers criticised the government's handling of the issue, saying it was infringing the freedom of speech. Democrat James To Kun-sun, who sponsored the non-binding motion to 'open up community radio stations', urged the government to launch the review now to allow the public to start their own radio stations. 'It gives an impression that the government controls the public airwaves because it wants to avoid criticism,' he said. Fellow Democrat Sin Chung-kai said that technology had advanced and it was no longer an excuse to delay digital audio broadcasting. Ronny Tong Ka-wah, of the Civic Party, said the injunction sought by the government was an attempt to use judicial procedures to achieve political objectives. 'I regret that the administration chose not to face reality and amend the outdated ordinance but leave the disputes to the court ruling,' Mr Tong said. But Liberal Party lawmaker Miriam Lau Kin-yee said all members of the public should abide by law. Chan Kam-lam, of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong, said the public had used many forms of the mass media to express their opinions. The non-binding motion was defeated in the functional constituencies but passed in the geographical constituencies.