Chinese Laundry tells staff ignore 'noise': We will overcome this hurdle

TT Radio Network, managing director, Anthony Chow Lin On
TT Radio Network, managing director, Anthony Chow Lin On " Chinese Laundry" speaks during the NEDCO entreneurship week at the Centre of Excellence, Macoya in 2023. - File photo

AFTER reports that Tony “Chinese Laundry” Chow Lin On may owe a sizeable amount in unpaid taxes to the Board of Inland Revenue for his radio network, he is reassuring his staff they will "overcome this hurdle." He urged them to ignore "noise and misinformation" in the public domain on the network's finances.

Media reports said the accounts of the Trinidad and Tobago Radio Network (TTRN) have been garnished by the state due to the amounts being owed. The reports say Chow Lin On held a meeting with staff members of the network where he said a payment plan would be put in place by the end of the month to resolve the matter.

TTRN owns 96.1 WEFM, 107.1 Music For Life and Star 94.7.

In a media statement in the morning on May 22, Chow Lin On thanked clients and listeners for their "supportive messages."

However, he added, "We will not be deterred by this as our focus is on resolving our situation.

"We are fully committed to fulfilling our obligations to The Board of Inland Revenue and to our dedicated staff of 84 employees, who have shown unwavering loyalty and support over the years. We are actively collaborating with the relevant authorities to resolve this matter as swiftly and efficiently as possible."

He said the 31-year-old company was the pioneer of urban radio in Trinidad and Tobago and the Caribbean.

"Through our innovation and tireless commitment, we have created employment and opportunities for many to grow and flourish."

He said the past few years had been challenging for businesses, which created a ripple effect that also had an impact on the network.

"Despite these challenges, we are determined to overcome this hurdle as we recognise the crucial role that independent media plays in our society and remain focused on our long-term vision. "Thank you once again for your kind understanding."

TATT, TTPBA: No comment

Both the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) and the Trinidad and Tobago Publishers and Broadcasters Association (TTPBA) have said it is not within their remit to comment on the situuation.

Contacted on May 21, a representative of TATT said, “They would have had to be tax-compliant when they applied for the concession, as with any company.

"We don’t have any jurisdiction in regard to taxes. Concessions for radio stations are normally ten years.

“It’s premature for the authority to respond at this time as we are not party to the discussions and we are not in a position to respond. We don’t have a comment at this time, as we’re not privy to any more information than was reported in the media.”

Also on May 21, TTPBA president Douglas Wilson said the association’s board would be meeting on the matter. He said the association dealt with regulatory matters, broadcasters and publishers in terms of free speech, treating with the government, regulations that govern broadcasting and so on.

“However, this is dealing with a private matter between a firm and the government. We don’t examine our members’ books and so on, so it’s outside the remit of the TTPBA. But I will discuss it with our members.”

The TTRN has not been a member of the association for at least ten years, according to the TTPBA secretariat.

With reporting by Paula Lindo


"Chinese Laundry tells staff ignore ‘noise’: We will overcome this hurdle"

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