Sarawak elections: RTM gets first Sarawakian head after 48 years

The Broadcasting Department, or better known as Radio Television Malaysia (RTM), created history when it appointed a woman, Norhyati Mohd Ismail as its new director-general.

Norhyati, 57, who hails from Sarawak, succeeds Ibrahim Yahaya. Her appointment is backdated to March 16.

Ibrahim, whose two-year contract of service ended on March 15, was appointed media advisor to Information Communication and Culture Minister Dr Rais Yatim.

The Information Communication and Culture Ministry said in a statement today that Norhyati, who has wide experience in broadcasting, was previously deputy director-general in charge of strategic broadcasting.

Norhyati Mohd Ismail, RTM Director-General

The Kuching-born Norhyati graduated with a Masters in Business Administration (Management) from the University of Southern Queensland,
Australia in 2004 and a Diploma in Mass Communication (Broadcasting) from the Mara Institute of Technology in 1977.

Among the posts she has held are TV Producer, RTM Sarawak (1978-1991); TV Controller RTM Sarawak (1991-1994); Controller of Entertainment TV at the Broadcasting Department Headquarters (1994-1997); Director of Broadcasting (TV) at the Headquarters (1997- 1998).
She was also the Sarawak RTM Director (1998-2005), managing Director of Radio Programmes at the Headquarters (2005); Managing Director of TV Programmes (2005- 2008) and subsequently as Deputy Director-General (Strategic
Broadcasting) from 2009 until March 2011.

She was conferred the Darjah Kebesaran Panglima Setia Bintang Sarawak (PSBS) which carries the title Datuk in 2007. Norhyati is the eleventh director-general of RTM since its inception in 1946.

RTM celebrates its sixty-fifth anniversary this year.

Norhyati said her appointment was proof that the federal government practised the concept of federalism and national integration.

“My appointment is proof that the concept of federalism and national integration is not mere lip service.

“Neither is gender or place of birth a factor (for promotion of civil servants),” she told Bernama here today.

She thanked Information Communication and Culture Ministry secretary-general, Kamaruddin Siaraf, for the trust placed in her

Meanwhile, Information Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim in congratulating Norhyati on her promotion said the federal government did not practise favouritism in promoting civil servants.

The people of Sarawak could take pride that one of their own was holding such a high post, he said.

— Bernama