RTM never featured us before, Chong reminds Abdul Karim

Chong Chieng Jen

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By Karen Bong

KUCHING, May 10: Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture, Youth and Sports Datuk Abdul Karim Rahman Hamzah should not complain about having less air time on RTM’s news programme as the opposition had zero air time previously.

Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen pointed out that unlike during the reign of the Barisan Nasional (BN), the PH government was giving opposition parties about 50 per cent of airtime on RTM.

“I think he (Abdul Karim) feels uncomfortable with less airtime now because the ruling parties back then had all the airtime then but the oppositions had none,” he told a press conference at Democratic Action Party (DAP) headquarters here today.

Yesterday, Abdul Karim complained about unfair treatment by RTM towards Sarawak in providing media coverage. Abdul Karim lamented that even though RTM had covered 181 events in the state, it should include Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg’s visuals in their programmes so as to better send messages to viewers.

He also reminded Minister of Communications and Multimedia Gobind Singh Deo that RTM is owned by all Malaysians, including the people of Sarawak, who contributed to the federal coffers and RTM’s operations as well as salaries of its staffs through taxes.

RTM, in a statement on Wednesday, had refuted claims that the national broadcaster had been shunning the chief minister and state government events in its coverage. It said that RTM’s reports were carried out on various platforms and in different languages and local dialects.

RTM also insisted that it was free to cover activities of the state government, which was in line with the government’s policy to uphold freedom of the press and the directive from the ministry. — DayakDaily