7 Jun 2007

Samoa's SDUP leader welcomes plan to privatise SBC

9:53 am on 7 June 2007

The leader of the Samoa Democratic United Party says he welcomes the government's move to privatise the publicly-funded Samoa Broadcasting Corporation.

In its new budget statement, the government says the privatisation of SBC TV and radio is to take place in the first half of the new financial year 2007/2008.

The SDUP's Asiata Saleimoa Va'ai says previous attempts at privatisation stalled because the government was asking too high a price.

However, he says the government has abused the services of SBC for long enough, so privatisation would help change that.

".Because it would take the SBC off the government hands, the propaganda machinery: so that's good in that respect. But it's such a major weapon that they used in the last general election, I don't really believe it... (that they'd sell it off). The other side has a greater chance if its put out there in that way than it does now, at the present time."

Several local media companies and business people are reported to have shown interest in buying SBC TV and radio.