Thursday, July 17, 2003

TVB's "Jade Solid Gold Quarterly Awards" show has been shadowed by suspicion of bribery, with executive Ho Lai Chuen and producer Chan Ka Lun arrested by the ICAC to assist with their enquiries and although the incident is still in the stages of development, the impact on TVB's reputation is very great. Yesterday, TVB's Board and Enterprise Managing Director Ho Ding Kwan continued business as usual and when asked by journalists for a response, he said: "There will be an effect and a bad one at that."

Ho Ding Kwan arrived at Broadcast City at 9am yesterday and when he saw the journalists, he knew what their intentions were and immediately said: "At the moment I can't say anything to you, it is his personal issue and I can't talk about private issues, after the investigation TVB will address this. There will be a little impact on the company." But won't the impact on the company be very great? Mr Ho admits there will be a bad effect but TVB didn't want this to happen and will learn from the experience, making sure all colleagues are aware of the seriousness of the incident and for it not to happen again.

When asked whether any workers of TVB tipped off the anti-corruption agency, Mr Ho points out that each time there is a big occasion then memos will go out to staff warning them and ultimately TVB is a public company under the jurisdiction of the ICAC so even for special occasions, staff cannot accept any valuable gifts. External Affairs Assistant Director Tsang Sing Ming adds: "The Human Resources department arranges anti-corruption presentations for new staff and at Christmas and new year the Managing Director will issue letters to all staff reminding them that they cannot accept gifts from clients or associates above the value of HK$500."

Although the head of variety shows has been arrested, the variety show productions continue, including the "New Talent Singing Contest Semi Final" and the filming of "Jade Solid Gold". Will Ho Lai Chuen and Chan Ka Lun be made to take temporary leave? Mr Ho points out that this incident has not yet ended so this has not been considered yet. Also the Manager of Productions for Variety Shows Wong Ka Leung is sitting tight on his second seat as he says: "All productions are proceeding as normal.... no change, because each programme has directors and producers to follow up with them."

The annual Miss Hong Kong Pageant has been storming ahead and Ho Lai Chuen has the role of Production Manager of this show, will there be an effect on the contest? Deputy Production Manager Rosa Chan indicates there is no disruption because the team is made up of experience people and all promotion and press conferences are going ahead as normal. Every year the contest creates rumours of fixing the results, but Rosa explains that each year, TVB invites well known people from society to be judges and some world renowned auditors to supervise the scoring process so this is guaranteed to be fair and just results. She emphasises: "TVB is a large company with a good reputation and the well known society representatives will not endanger their own reputations for the sake of one girl."


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