KUCHING: Assistant Minister of Public Health Slyvester Entri Muran urges the federal government through the Ministry of Information, Communication, Arts and Cultural to allocate more funds to the state’s Radio dan Television Malaysia (RTM) to enable it to carry more news on the rural areas.
Entri said the lack of coverage on the rural areas had resulted in many good stories on the success of development in rural areas not getting to the rakyat.
“When we mention about news, to the people in the rural area, RTM is synonymous to news and they rely entirely on the broadcast media to receive information as well as for entertainment.”
“In view of this, it is pertinent for RTM officers to be more pro-active in looking for information on the development of rural areas for the benefit of the rural folks,” he said in his speech at the annual dinner of RTM Kuching’s Current Affair News Section at a leading hotel last Saturday night.
Entri, who represented the Second Minister of Planning and Resource Management Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hassan, said while he could understand the argument that it was very difficult to do a wide and in-depth coverage of rural area due to the geographical size of the state, the matter could be resolved by giving more funds to RTM Sarawak.
“If there is no (big) allocation for RTM Sarawak, it is difficult for them to give good coverage on the rural area,” he said, adding other departments or agencies under the ministry such as Information Department and National Film agency would also require bigger allocation for the same purpose.
The assistant minister also stressed that the rural folks needed help to deflect negative information about the state government’s policies that were churned out by irresponsible quarters.
“We know that there are many policies of the government which are not thoroughly understood by the rural people.”
“Therefore, in view of the fact that both the state government and RTM Sarawak always enjoy a good relationship, it is our collective responsibility to explain to the rakyat about the government’s policies,” he said.
He also hoped these agencies would help the government gather feedbacks from the rakyat on implemented policies.
“We need feedback from the ground so that the government could look for ways to improve its service to the rakyat,” he said, adding the government was always concerned with the welfare of the rakyat and would always strive to improve their standard of living.
Sarawak Region Broadcasting Director Abdul Jalani Mahmud also spoke at the function.