RTHK is puring critical voices, says ex-radio host

Former RTHK radio host Allan Au on Tuesday accused the government station of exhausting all its administrative power to remove voices it doesn’t like.

Au was speaking on Commercial Radio a day after he was removed from RTHK’s evening current affairs show, Open Line Open View, which he hosted for 11 years.

His departure came a little over a week after another RTHK radio host, Tsang Chi-ho, said he was sacked with immediate effect.

Au, a veteran journalist, said he had expected this day to come, adding he was only told about the “personnel changes” about an hour before the show began.

He said he believed the real reason for his dismissal was related to articles he had written that were critical of the government, although he stressed that he had never shared his views during the radio show and his questions to interviewees were also based on facts. He also said there had been more voices from the pro-establishment camp than before.

“What we have seen over the past few months is that RTHK has been using all its administrate power to do whatever it wants, to remove people and voices it doesn’t like,” Au said, adding he expected to see further personnel changes at the station.

He accused RTHK’s management of acting against the spirit of public service broadcasting.

The government broadcaster had only said personnel arrangements are internal editorial matters and declined to comment further.

The RTHK Programme Staff Union had said it’s extremely worried that impartial and critical voices are disappearing from the airwaves. It also questioned why the management had to inform Au about his dismissal at the eleventh hour.

Au’s departure came as another popular TV show, RTHK Talk Show is reportedly scrapped.

One of its hosts, Chinese University journalism lecturer Leung Kai-chi, had written on social media that the programme was abruptly cancelled.

RTHK has yet to confirm the news.