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RTM Viewers May Have To Pay For Digital Decoder - 09-March-2009, 15:37

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 (Bernama) -- Radio Televison Malaysia (RTM) viewers may have to pay RM300 for a decoder after the broadcaster's digitalisation project is fully completed in 2012.

Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek said however the ministry would give a three-year period till 2015 for people to get the decoder.

He said 2012 was the target for RTM to fully implement the digitalisation as the country did not want to be left behind.

"Society must understand that we must begin to do this now," he told reporters at his ministry's family day at the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia here today. The function was officiated by his deputy Datuk Tan Lian Hoe.

Ahmad Shabery said 2015 was the year that all Asean countries would stop analog broadcasting.

He said preparation for digitalisation did not only involve Malaysia, Laos and Cambodia but even Myanmar had begun to do so.

After 2012 television manufacturers are expected to make TVs fitted with the decoder, he said.

Asked if his ministry planned to reduce the cost of the decoder so that everyone could own one, Ahmad Shabery was of the opinion that getting the decoder at that price would not be a burden.

"If a person fancied music for example, RM300 would not be a problem for the person to get a decoder, I feel that is not a problem," he said.

Ahmad Shabery also said RTM would introduce a new channel called 'Muzik Aktif' on Astro's channel 180 beginning Thursday.

He said the channel was a pioneering effort and the ministry proposed to have another channel by the end of the year.

Also present at the family day event were the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Kamaruddin Siaraf and Bernama Editor-in-Chief Datuk Yong Soo Heong.
   
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