RTB undergoes royal 'screening'
By James Kon

Radio Television Brunei (RTB) yesterday underwent a "screening" by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam during a surprise visit.

His Majesty first toured the new RTB complex, which is yet to be operational, located at Kg Sungai Akar.

Present to brief the monarch on the progress of the new RTB Digital Complex were Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Ismail bin Pengiran Haji Mohamed, the Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office, Awg Hj Hamiddon bin Hj Ibrahim, the Acting Director of RTB, Awg Hj Abd Manap bin Hj Adam, Acting Head of Current Affairs and Sports, Awg Hj Ibrahim Hj Mohamad, Acting Head of Engineering, Pg Hj Mahari bin Pg Hj Abdul Razak, Head of TV Programme and other officials. Questions were raised by His Majesty on the construction of the new RTB complex and the maintenance of its surrounding environment.

His Majesty then headed to the RTB building in the heart of the capital where the monarch also took a closer look at the Health Check for Civil Servants Roadshow taking place at the RTB building.

Taking an interest in the administrative process of RTB, His Majesty went to the Administration Section on the first floor.

RTB began broadcasting in May 1957 with limited coverage around Brunei Town, the nation's capital at that time. By 1974, with more than 150 personnel and three transmitting sites, full nationwide coverage was achieved. Currently, there are more than 1,000 people working with RTB and future plans are underway for RTB to go digital.

His Majesty then went to second floor to visit the TV Programme Section, followed by a tour of the Radio Section on the third, fourth and fifth floors and the Engineering Section on sixth floor.

Returning to the ground floor, His Majesty headed to the Radio Broadcasting Studio to speak with staff and take a closer look at the radio broadcasting equipment.

In one of the rooms, His Majesty also had his blood pressure checked by medical personnel of the Health Check for Civil Servants Roadshow.

His Majesty also visited the 'Rampai Pagi' programme studio set. The half-day surprise visit continued at the ENG Unit, Tape and Film Library, PR Office, Play-out Centre, Studio Jubilee. His Majesty's arrival at the News Centre was greeted by RTB reporters and editors.

His Majesty also heard a grievance from one of the staff that after 12 years of service under RTB, she is still receiving her salary in the form of vouchers. The caring monarch asked Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Ismail to look into the matter.

Concluding the visit, His Majesty attended a closed-door briefing with Pehin Orang Kaya Hamzah Pahlawan Dato Seri Setia Awang Hj Abdullah bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, Minister of Development, Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Ismail bin Pengiran Haji Mohamed, the Permanent Secretary at the Prime Minister's Office and other RTB officials. - Borneo Bulletin (29th May 2008)