Calls for improvements in govt media

National 2 minutes, 14 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

SEVERAL non-governmental members called upon for more improvements in government media agencies during yesterday's State Legislative Council Meeting.

Examples of issues raised were the lack of manpower brought up by Mohd Shafiee Mohd from the Kuala Belait district.

He highlighted that the Kuala Belait district is the biggest district but with only one Radio Television Brunei (RTB) crew. He suggested the possibility of outsourcing to ensure sufficient manpower.

Responding to the issue was Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Awang Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Bakar, the Minister of Energy at the Prime Minister's Office.

He took note of the vast area of the district as well as the use of outsourcing.

Pehin Kapitan Lela Diraja Dato Paduka Awang Goh King Chin, another non-governmental member of the State meeting queried the possibility of RTB programmes to be run in Chinese taking note that Chinese radio programmes are already in place.

The Minister of Energy acknowledged the matter and asssured that it will be looked into.

However, he reminded the meeting that the agencies had to overcome stiff competition from foreign satellite providers such as Astro to ensure that messages by the government can be relayed effectively to the public.

Sulaiman Ahad from the Temburong district highlighted the plights and concerns of the RTB crew based in his district.

According to Sulaiman some staff have been receiving their payments in forms of vouchers since 2004 still under daily payment rates as well as not possessing other benefits such as mileage claims and other allowances.

He stressed that consideration be given for permanent positions.

The Energy Minister ensured that the allocation of the budget for RTB worth $52,808,811 will be used for continous efforts to improve RTB.

Pengiran Setia Negara Pengiran Mohd Yusof Pengiran Abdul Rahim applauded the establishment of RTB's media branch in Tutong on December 1 last year. However, he was concerned over the limited coverage within the district.

"There are a lot of issues within the district that still needs to be more exposed to the public. I hope this issue will be dealt with accordingly within each district," he said.

Another form of the government's media is its Information Department, with an allocation of $6,690,480 for the fiscal year 2008/2009.

A non-governmental member, Orang Kaya Jaya Putera Dato Paduka Awang Muhammad Taha Abd Rauf observed that there had been improvements within the department especially in techniques of ensuring that the local newsletter, Pelita Brunei reaches all levels of society through heads of villages in Brunei.

The Energy Minister noted that more cost-effective methods of relaying information to the public by using technological devices for a possible 'e-Pelita Brunei' were in the pipeline.

The Brunei Times