Ni Komang Erviani , Contributor , The Jakarta Post, Denpasar | Sat, 09/13/2008 9:57 AM | Bali
Bali’s provincial Indonesian Broadcasting Commission (KPID) on Thursday said it would take disciplinary action against 32 private radio stations operating on the island without the proper licenses and documents.
Commission head Komang Suarsana said the 32 stations did not have licenses to use radio frequencies and the KPID-issued recommendation of feasibility.
“Based on that, we can conclude the stations have used the radio frequencies illegally,” he said.
The commission is a government-funded independent institution tasked with monitoring television and radio stations.
Established at provincial and national levels, the commission has the right to issue recommendations for the closure of TV or radio stations violating a 2002 law on broadcasting.
The KPID’s data shows there are currently 64 state and private radio stations operating in Bali.
Of these, eight have licenses to use radio frequencies and the KPID’s feasibility recommendation, 24 have acquired the recommendations but have yet to get the licenses, while the rest have neither required document.
“We expect the stations to submit requests for the documents as soon as possible,” Suarsana added.
However, the KPID was not forthcoming on what disciplinary measures it would take.
“For the time being, we are urging them to process the required documents,” he said.
Suarsana said he believed the large number of radio stations operating without proper documents was because they were unable to acquire several supporting documents.
The supporting documents include building permits, commercial enterprise licenses, notarized ownership documents and public disturbance permits.
These documents are issued by several different regional agencies.
“If the stations fail to acquire the required and supporting documents, then they have to face the consequences,” Suarsana said.
One of those consequences, he went on, was forced termination of the station’s broadcast.
“The operators or owners could also face criminal charges because using a radio frequency without the proper license is a felony,” he said.
The KPID’s crackdown on radio stations will be carried out by a joint team comprising officers from Denpasar’s Frequency Monitoring Body, the Bali Public Prosecutor’s Office, Bali Police and KPID, he said.
Yasa Adnyana, Bali chairman of the Association of Private Radio Stations (PRSSNI), said he was unaware of the existence of illegal radio stations, claiming his organization did not represent illegal broadcasters.
“We have 27 radio stations as members. All already possess the required documents,” he said.