RTHK needs to embrace, explain security law: adviser - RTHK
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RTHK needs to embrace, explain security law: adviser

2020-06-10 HKT 10:44
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  • RTHK needs to embrace, explain security law: adviser
RTHK’s government-appointed board of advisers has instructed the public broadcaster to produce programmes explaining Beijing’s national security law set to be imposed on Hong Kong, to assuage public concerns.

A new working group set up by the board to monitor the station’s governance and editorial principles held its first meeting on Wednesday with station head Leung Ka-wing.

The group was set up after the communications regulator criticised RTHK for programmes and satires deemed to be offensive towards the police force, prompting an apology from the broadcaster.

After the meeting, board chairman Eugene Chan told reporters that RTHK must fulfill its mission to promote a sense of national identity among the public.

But he stressed that the board isn’t exerting pressure on the broadcaster to promote the controversial law, just to help ensure the public has a 'correct understanding' of it.

“I won’t use the word ‘promote’, I will use the word ‘embrace’”, Chan said.

“We are [a] public broadcaster. It says clearly in our mission and purpose that our job is to produce programmes to let the citizens understand ‘One Country, Two Systems’ and the actual implementation.”

Chan added that a comprehensive programme should cover topics of wide public interest, so that “all those controversies or all those views can be fully explored, explained, and put everyone’s mind at ease.”

He further explained that RTHK should adopt a "positive attitude" to explain the background, legislative intent and details of the national security law, so the public can understand them fully and accurately. Dissenting voices, he added, can be included in such programmes.

He said RTHK should also make programmes to educate people about other matters, such as the national anthem law, and the allegiance of Hong Kong’s civil servants to the country

The national security law is being drafted by the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress, and has not been made public yet.

It is expected that the legislation will be discussed during a meeting of the elite parliamentary body from June 18-20.

The government also announced in May that it will establish a separate dedicated team to review the governance and management of RTHK” to make sure the public broadcaster's services fully abide by its charter.

The review team is to be “led by a senior directorate officer and comprise officers from various grades of the government”.

The team will report to the permanent secretary for the Commerce and Economic Development Bureau (CEDB).

The CEDB said the review will look at all major aspects of RTHK, including administration, financial control, human resources management and resource deployment to make sure it complies with government rules and regulations.

The report will submitted to CEDB in about six months' time.

Last updated: 2020-06-10 HKT 15:58