( by Joe Chelliah)
The recent addition of another channel called Muzik Aktif (Ch. 180) to Astro’s growing list of viewing possibilities for the consumer is indeed commendable. It is a channel specially allocated for local music video programs. However, there is still much room for improvement both in its content and quality. I refer particularly to some of the more recently produced clips in which the singer(s) goes off pitch. This is a taboo for any professional singer or broadcast. Having a singer to sing and stroll with an umbrella at a Lake Garden or beach does not say much about creativity either. Such clips are characteristic of cheaper karaoke productions and should have no place in any commercial TV broadcast.
I also understand that RTM manages the entire content for this particular channel and has outsourced the task of producing new video clips to local producers to augment RTM’s supply of music videos available. This is good for the ailing music industry. RTM shows of the past were usually of acceptable quality although the broadcasting equipment of the time was not anywhere near what is available today. In the early years of RTM, songs that were musically inaccurate (e.g. not enough bars, out of tune guitars / singers) were simply excluded from broadcasts. Those were the days when musicians per se held the post of Ketua Hiburan such as Ahmad Merican, Dol Ramli and Ismail Abu. They were completely in charge of all musical content for broadcast over radio and TV at RTM.
It would also be nice to air older clips of major RTM competitions like Bintang RTM and Juara Kugiran programs of the 1960’s and 1970’s. I was informed that the video archives of such programs were lost in a fire at RTM’s library. I am sure that Filem Negara has all of them on film in their archives. A little joint effort from RTM and Filem Negara can bring these classic shows back albeit in black and white for both the younger and older generations.