Thursday, October 23, 2014   

Govt not seeking to hobble RTHK: So
(01-30 11:05)

Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Greg So Kam-leung has denied allegations that the government has withdrawn its funding request for a new RTHK headquarters in order to reduce the broadcaster's clout in the territory.
The cost of the proposed project in Tseung Kwan O was reduced to HK$5.3 billion from HK$6.1 billion, but still failed to get the backing of pro-Beijing legislators, RTHK reports.
So told RTHK's 'Backchat' programme that political considerations were never mentioned during the government's attempts to get legislators to back the funding request.
He also rejected suggestions that the government hadn't tried too hard to get the money because RTHK is a thorn in the administration's side.
He said this was probably the one issue he had fought the hardest on during his term of office.
Meanwhile, the Director of Broadcasting, Roy Tang Yun-kwong, has said it is unlikely the government can reduce the cost of the proposed new headquarters.
Tang said the scale of the proposed project was already the bare minimum necessary for the broadcaster to provide the services it has promised the public and there was little room to scale back the facilities required.
He said the project would now have to be re-tendered, which would delay construction by at least two years and further increase costs.   
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