Najib launches new TV channel for people in Sabah, Sarawak

 |Mar 22, 2018

KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the new TV OKEY channel launched last night is capable of achieving two main objectives of the national broadcasting policy, namely effective news or message delivery and development of creative industry, especially in Sabah and Sarawak.

The prime minister said the channel specified for audience in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan, was to enable the message to be delivered both ways directly between the government and the people.

“We want the message between the people and the government to be delivered both ways and bottom up. That means that the channel will give focus to the people at the grass roots level on Sabah and Sarawak to express themselves and to voice out their opinions to the general public and the government.

“Besides, we, as the government, would also want to effectively deliver a message to the people, not only in national language, but also in their local dialects, especially with the diversified ethnicities in the two states. In Sabah alone, there are 52 ethnic groups. That is the official number, the unofficial number may be bigger. In Sarawak, there are 27 ethnic groups.

“Today, the Kadazan and Iban communities can only watch two news bulletins (on RTM). Other communities hardly have the chance and can only learn about the news on radio. With the launch of this new TV OKEY channel, even the Dusun and Bajau communities can watch the news,” he said when launching the channel here.

Also present were the Prime Minister’s wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Tun Openg, Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, as well as Sabah and Sarawak state cabinet ministers.

According to Najib, TV OKEY would also be the catalyst for further development of the creative industry in Sabah and Sarawak, hence generating income for the country and the two states.

He said the objective could be achieved because the people in Sabah and Sarawak were well known for their creativity and talents in terms of singing, dancing, script-writing, documentary production and so forth.

The prime minister said TV OKEY was also a new way for the creative abilities of the people of Sabah and Sarawak to be developed and polished, as the channel provides more air time for the two states.

“I believe there are many more new talents out there. Of course, new talents will get a morale booster to pursue a career in the creative industry, which we have listed as one of the national key economic areas.

“We hope this area can create 10,000 job opportunities by 2020, with a targeted revenue of RM3.04 billion (for the country),” he said.

The prime minister said Malaysia’s creative industry had received international recognition, including in Indonesia and the United States through animated series such as Upin Ipin and BoboiBoy.

In the meantime, Najib said he was attracted to the name of the new TV channel, OKEY, which is the acronym for ‘Original, Knowledge, Exciting for Youth’, and that he hoped the channel would be an effective way to combat the spread of fake news by irresponsible parties.

The TV OKEY channel can be viewed on channel 110 on MyTV and 109 on Astro. — Bernama