Ai FM to stop airing news in Chinese dialects next year

Ai FM to stop airing news in Chinese dialects next year

SINGAPORE - Government-owned radio station Ai FM will stop airing news in Chinese dialects effective Jan 1, 2014, reported China Press.

Several news readers have received letters informing them of the decision.

Ai FM, formerly known as Radio 5 and Radio Malaysia Saluran 5, is the only radio station which still airs news in Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka and Teochew daily. It has done so since the 1940s.

The session starts at 8pm with each news dialect lasting for 10 minutes.

Citing cost-cutting reasons, the radio station's management, however, has yet to issue an official statement so far.

A senior newsreader who has been reading in the Teochew dialect said all dialect newsreaders were part-timers and were paid according to the 10-minute airtime.

"We must arrive at the station by 6.30pm and each of us is paid RM60 (S$23.30)," she said, adding that together with two other news editors on duty, the radio station spent about RM7,500 a month on airing Chinese dialect news.

Many deejays and community leaders were upset with the decision and opined that the airtime should remain.

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