Fri, Oct 17, 2008 - Page 3 News List

DPP legislators call for leniency for underground radio station operators

By Shelley Shan  /  STAFF REPORTER

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmakers yesterday asked the National Communications Commission (NCC) to stop clamping down on underground radio stations.

Saying the government did not set a specific timeline on when it would open the radio frequencies for interested operators to apply, DPP Legislator Wang Sing-nan (王幸男) said the commission only sped up efforts to address the issue after the Chinese Nationalist Party’s (KMT) Central Standing Committee passed a resolution to take down all of underground radio stations, adding that those that helped President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) get elected would be exempted from the threat.

“We ask the commission to stop the crackdown before the commission opens a new batch of radio frequencies for applications,” he said. “And to help legalize these underground radio stations, a couple of licenses should be reserved for them.”

DPP Legislator Kuan Bi-ling (管碧玲) said the Kaohsiung City Government had provided subsidies to help these operators relocate to a new place. The commission should consider following the same model, she said.

Taking note of the NCC’s accusations that some of these radio stations sold fake drugs to listeners, DPP Legislator Twu Shiing-jer (�?�), a former health minister, said: “The commission seems to be stepping way out of its league.”

“Only the Department of Health can determine if they [the drugs] are detrimental to human health,” he said.

The DPP lawmakers made the appeal at the NCC yesterday, joined by a group of representatives from underground radio stations.

A representative said at a meeting with NCC officials that they would never be granted a license because the deals they offer could never compete with those offered by big corporations.

NCC spokesperson Lee Ta-sung (李大嵩) said he had heard their appeal and would relay it to the commission.

However, the commission is the nation’s telecom regulator and is obligated to protect order on the use of radio waves, he said.

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