Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Fighting to Keep Airing HK Voices

Albert Cheng King-hon (middle) at his radio station
Albert Cheng King-hon is still trying desperately to hold onto his Digital Broadcasting Corporation after trying to to secure funding only a month after it officially launched.

The radio station was supposed to go off the air today at 5pm, but the talk show host said he was going to try to keep broadcasts going for another week.

The shut down was due to occur because shareholders were unable to decide on the station's funding after a pro-Beijing investor Wong Cho-bau said he would no longer invest in the company. He had originally promised to put in HK$50 million.

Chief Executive and board member Morris Ho Kwok-fai, Cheng and Ronald Arculli had proposed to buy Wong's 50 percent stake at a discount or sell theirs under the same terms, but not everyone agreed on the proposal and no counter offers were made.

Cheng (left) is trying to get more funding for DBC
In addition, the station has yet to pay the HK$2 million in salaries to staff members and it is believed the station won't get aid from the Labour Department.

Ho said a total of HK$3.8 million had been spent on the station's annual license fee and some shareholders including David Li Kwok-po and Arthur Li Kwok-cheung had yet to pay up.

Cheng believes that since the station has paid for its license fee that the government should help out, in particular mediating in this dispute.

But it has been silent on the matter, and Cheng suggested that perhaps the government was relieved to have one less critic on the air.

Hopefully Cheng can keep DBC broadcasting. As one caller to the radio show said, "Today it's DBC. Will newspapers or other media face the same fate," he asked, adding that there was now less room for the public to express their opinion.

Some may not like Cheng for his views, but his voice represents a number of people in Hong Kong.

And with Beijing constantly hovering over us, we need more avenues to express our opinions, DBC being one of them.

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