Indonesian Broadcast Authorities Monitoring Batam-Based Radio Hang

Tuesday, Aug 23, 2016

The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPI) is monitoring Batam-based religious radio station HangFM after Singapore authorities said it propagates extremist views.

Speaking to Channel NewsAsia on Monday (Aug 22), the head of KPI's Riau chapter Azwardi said: “We have had a dialogue with them and we continue to monitor them.”

The broadcasting regulatory body in Riau province said if the station is found to have violated rules with the content of its broadcasts, it may be subject to airtime limits and could even see its licence taken away after warning letters have been issued.

HangFM was thrust into the spotlight after Singapore's Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said two Internal Security Act detainees - Rosli Hamzah and Mohamed Omar Mahadi - had become radicalised after listening to the radio station from 2009 and 2010 respectively.

Subsequently, both men were introduced to radical materials online including Islamic State (IS) propaganda and they were prepared to fight for IS in Syria and die as "martyrs".

Mr Azwardi said Radio HangFM was issued a warning in 2014 after a number of Islamic organisations in Batam protested against its content, calling it “divisive”. They said the content of the broadcasts violated the rules of Islam and divided the Muslim community, he added.

“We admit that maybe the religious teachers we have had on air may have been lacking in eloquence when it comes to public speaking. However, if they have said anything that could have been misconstrued, I have always corrected them,” said station manager Abu Yusuf.

“Even if one word is proven to encourage radical ideologies, we will be shut down immediately,” Mr Zein Alatas, commissioner of Radio HangFM, said to Channel NewsAsia over the phone.

“The allegations have had negative repercussions on us. Our families are traumatised and the people at the mall we are located next to are fearful of us,” he added.

HangFM has asked to meet the Singaporean consulate in Batam to provide clarification.


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