KOTA KINABALU, March 21 ― The government launched today a state-run TV channel for Sabah and Sarawak to battle so-called “fake news” and to boost the creative industry.
Launching Okey TV, a new government-run TV channel here tonight, Najib said that the channel has multi-pronged benefits that will benefit the nation in terms of bridging communication between the people and the government and boosting social cohesiveness.
“I also think we have a lot of quality talent in both these states that we can pull from ― there are in all creative fields ― singers, dancers, script-writers, documentary makers the channel will provide a new avenue to explore and encourage these talents,” he said.
One of the major highlights of the 24-hour channel is its programmes and news which will be communicated in local dialects like Iban and Kadazan to begin with.
Najib said it will eventually venture into other ethnic languages like Dusun and Bajau to cater for various ethnic groups in both the states.
“This channel is specifically for them. Airtime will not limited anymore. If before there was only Sabah and Sarawak news twice a day, now you can have effective delivery of news in your local dialect all day long. The possibilities are endless,” he said.
Najib estimated that the creative industry will provide some 10,000 jobs by 2020, generating income of RM3.04 billion, as targeted under its National Key Economic Areas.
He said the target was achievable as Malaysia has already gained recognition globally for 3D animations like Upin dan Ipin and Boboiboy, which is known in Arabic countries, Mexico, the United States, Latin America and Indonesia among others.
The launch at a hotel here saw both Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, Sarawak Chief Minister Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg and Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak in attendance.
The new channel is available on Channel 109 for Astro subscribers and Channel 119 on MyTV.