Mon, 29 Aug 1994

Batam to get 2 TV relay stations

BATAM (JP): Two private television companies, RCTI and SCTV, will have their US$3 million relay station dedicated by the Minister of Information Harmoko today.

High ranking officials from neighboring Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia are expected to attend the inaugural ceremony.

Among the foreign dignitaries to attend the ceremony are Malaysian Information Minister Dato' H. Mohammad Rachmat and the Singaporean and Brunei ambassadors to Jakarta.

The new TV facility is expected to help foster understanding among the four neighbors because the TV programs will also reach the three neighboring countries.

RCTI's spokesman Eduard Depari, State Minister for Research and Technology B.J. Habibie and Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications Joop Ave will also be present.

For the past six months of the relay station's trial-run operation, people on Batam have been able enjoy programs aired by SCTV and RCTI after exposure to TVRI and Malaysian and Singaporean channels, Edward said.

"Now it will be difficult for Singapore to maintain a closed sky policy," he said.

Batam, Eduard said, was chosen as the site of the new station because the island of 147,000 people was strategic in economic, political and cultural terms.(anr)