KUALA LUMPUR: The Suara Malaysia (Voice of Malaysia)-Tagalog radio station under the Department of Broadcasting Malaysia (RTM) will cease operations at midnight, says Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
The Communications and Multimedia Minister said it was in line with the Cabinet’s decision on March 4, adding that the termination of the radio station was expected to provide savings to RTM Sabah's expenditure, thus enabling resources to be focused on efforts to improve other services in the state.
Annuar said the move was also made based on several justifications, especially on its ineffectiveness as an information delivery platform following the lack of listeners.
"... apart from it not achieving the original objective of its establishment, the Foreign Ministry has also described it as no longer playing an important role in contributing to bilateral diplomacy efforts between Malaysia and the Philippines," he said in a statement Friday (April 29).
The radio station began operations on Oct 1, 1973, and was transmitted through the MW Tuaran transmitter under Radio Malaysia Sabah.
It was then converted to online radio on July 1, 2011, due to listeners’ demand for content in Tagalog.
Annuar said the Suara Malaysia-Tagalong radio station was created to convey the Malaysian government’s policies to forge a closer friendship between the countries, especially among listeners in the southern Philippines.
He said the two-hour radio station that goes on air at 7.30pm broadcasts programmes relating to the way of life of the multi-racial and multi-ethnic Keluarga Malaysia (Malaysian Family) as well as promoting a harmonious relationship between the two countries.
Annuar said besides the Foreign Ministry, other parties that have agreed to end the radio broadcast were the Sabah government, the Eastern Sabah Security Command, Sabah National Security Council and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission.
"The Ministry of Communications and Multimedia hopes Malaysia-Philippines relations will remain at the best level,” he said, adding that the ministry was also grateful for the listeners’ support over the years. - Bernama