Friday, April 1, 2011


April 01, 2011 14:44 PM

Norhyati Is Ready To Rejuvenate RTM

By Mohamad Letfee Ahmad

KUALA LUMPUR, April 1 (Bernama) -- Today, April 1, 2011, Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) celebrates its 65th anniversary. Being the pioneer broadcaster of the nation, RTM has contributed immensely in disseminating information and providing entertainment to the masses all these years.

Nonetheless, the broadcasting landscape in the country has changed tremendously with RTM no longer being the sole broadcaster and the fast evolving broadcasting technology and the demand for real time information has posed a serious challenge for RTM.

Can RTM stay afloat in the current highly competitive broadcasting environment, for the Acting Broadcasting Director General Datuk Norhyati Ismail the answer is definitely yes.

When met at her office at the Second Floor, Wisma TV, Angkasapuri, Norhyati who was appointed to the position just a few days earlier and still in the midst of settling down with her new undertaking said she is not going to waste any time in continuing with RTM's rejuvenation process.

"No point in waiting," she said.

Norhyati has a busy work schedule for now especially looking at RTM's 65th anniversary celebration and the 10th Sarawak State Election on April 16.


Norhyati who hails from Sarawak raised the eyebrows in the Malaysian broadcasting industry when she became the first women to be appointed as Sarawak's Broadcasting Director in 2001. She held the position up to 2006.

But for the Sarawak election, she will return to her home state to personally supervise RTM's election coverage.

She is expected to see through the implementation of the interactive TV known as TVi that will be broadcast through Astro's channel 180 currently airing the RTM's 'Muzik Aktif'.

With TVi, Muzik Aktif will appear on a digital platform where set top boxes are required for televisions.

According to Norhyati, the TVi channel would serve as the window for Sabah and Sarawak because 50 percent of its content would be on the activities in both states.

"If all goes well, the channel is expected to be officially launched by the Minister of Information Communication and Culture Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim at RTM Kuching on 10 April," she said.


Apart from RTM's 65th anniversary celebration, the Orkestra RTM is also celebrating its 50th anniversary.

The Orkestra RTM that was once under the direction of great musicians and composers like Tan Sri Ahmad Merican, Alfonso Soliano, Gus Steyn, Ooi Eow Jin, Jimmy Boyle, Tan Chong Yew, Richard Hoon, Datuk Johari Salleh, Datuk Ahmad Nawab, Datuk Ahmad Dasilah and Datuk Mokhzani Ismail was a standard bearer in the music industry.

The orchestra is now undergoing rebranding.

According to Norhyati, Orkestra RTM is planning to put up a performance in conjunction with the launch of a 'coffee table' book in July.

However, she said, the programme to bring the Orkestra RTM closer to the hearts of the people has already begun.

"As for example, last year we held a performance during an event organised by the Harian Metro daily in Dataran Merdeka," she explained.


RTM has produced a number of memorable dramas and serials over the years and Norhyati believes some are worth bringing back.

Viewers of the 80s will recall RTM's popular serial, 'Opah' based on the story by A.Wahid Nasir.

'Opah' that started as a 'Drama Minggu Ini' production with a reputable cast line-up was an interesting family fare that portrayed values of a society.

According to Norhyati, the drama being revived through private sponsorship is now at the filming stage with a new cast line up and would be screened soon.


RTM also plays a role in making the local production industry vibrant by providing more opportunities for local producers.

Norhyati noted that as at present RTM has succeeded in achieving the 80 percent quota for local content with 45 to 50 percent from the total contributed by producers from outside.

In keeping up with the technological development, RTM has embarked on the implementation of digital broadcasting that is expected to be completed by 2015.

According to Norhyati, the first phase of the broadcast trials would start in 2012.

"We are confident of completing the digitalization programme though it is very costly.

"We are prepared towards this to ensure RTM has the edge in the competition with private broadcasters," she said with optimism.


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