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Media Development Authority appoints new CEO

Dr Christopher Chia will be the new Chief Executive Officer of Media Development Authority (MDA) with effect from 1 June 2004.

He takes over from Mr Lim Hock Chuan who will be posted to the Ministry of Home Affairs as Deputy Secretary wef 1 June 04.

Dr Chia is currently the Chief Executive of the National Library Board (NLB) which he has led as its founding Chief Executive Officer since September 1995.

During his term, he has radically and successfully transformed NLB to what it is today. Under Dr Chias stewardship, annual library visitorship has grown sixfold to 31m; library borrowing has tripled to over 32m annually and library membership has more than doubled to 2.1m.

Today, the NLB libraries are internationally known for their lifestyle focus and innovation, with the introduction of many services for the benefit of its patrons, and with a reputation for implementing innovative processes and systems such as the patented Radio Frequency IDentification (RFID) checkout terminals - a world-first full-scale implementation.

Under his executive leadership, Dr Chia has won the NLB many accolades and awards, such as the inaugural Innovative Organisation of the Year in 2001, and the NLB has also been the subject of case studies for service breakthrough in major business schools in Singapore and abroad.

Dr Chia has spent 20 years in the public sector in Singapore, with senior appointments ranging from IT R&D management, IT manpower planning, postgraduate educational management and business development.

He has a PhD in Computation from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) from the United Kingdom and was recently granted the 2003 Alumnus of the Year by UMIST. In 2001, he was awarded the International Management Action Award and the Friend of IT by the Singapore Computer Society.

NLB will be seeking a new CEO to replace Dr Christopher Chia.

Lim Hock Chuan was appointed CEO of the Media Development Authority (MDA), in June 1997, when it was the Singapore Broadcasting Authority (SBA). Under his able leadership, the SBA was transformed into a significant statutory body for media development and regulations. Mr Lim oversaw the implementation of many policy moves, and introduced significant changes, which facilitated the development of the media industry.

He was instrumental in bringing about the early adoption of the digital European DVB and Eureka 147 standards. This paved the way for the roll-out of digital TV and radio and the introduction of the world's first commercial Digital Mobile TV in Singapore.

Mr Lim also contributed to the liberalisation of the local broadcasting industry by working with local and international broadcasters, to bring new services and offerings to local audiences here. Local audiences are now well served by an array of seven free to air TV channels, 26 analogue and digital radio channels and 40 cable TV channels, compared to four TV, 16 radio channels and 34 cable channels in 1997. The same period also saw the number of satellite broadcasters based in Singapore growing from eight to 17.

Last year, Mr Lim steered SBA towards the smooth formation of MDA, through its merger with the Films and Publications Department, and the Singapore Film Commission. Soon after merger, Mr Lim led in the formulation and implementation of two major developments, the introduction of a media competition code and the "Media 21" blueprint. The competition code will be a major contribution towards healthy competition in the media industry and help develop wider access to quality media products and services for media consumers. The "Media 21" blueprint, which is a strategic plan, will chart the course for Singapores transformation into a Global Media City.

Under Mr Lim's leadership, business cost issues have also been addressed. In line with MDA's pro-business outlook and regulating with a light touch, which has become the norm under Mr Lim's stewardship, a major revamp of the video licensing framework was undertaken and large savings in business costs returned to video and cinema operators. These have helped to bring industry costs down, especially during the economic downturn.

Mr Lim leaves behind an MDA with a robust foundation poised for further achievement as it continues in its role of developing and regulating the media industry.

The Ministry of Information, Communications and the Arts wishes Dr Christopher Chia and Mr Lim Hock Chuan every success in their new jobs.

Source: MITA Press Release 18 Feb 2004




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19 February 2004