From The Malaysian Insider,wit' gratitude from Desi de newshound-cum-blogger:):)
Utusan sacks journalist union chief
UPDATED @ 07:59:23 PM 02-05-2011
By Yow Hong Chieh
May 02, 2011
Hata (right) reads from his termination letter, outside Utusan Malaysia’s office in Kuala Lumpur, May 2, 2011. — Picture by Choo Choy May
KUALA LUMPUR, May 2 — National Union of Journalist (NUJ) president Mohamed Hata Wahari confirmed that Utusan Malaysia has sacked him but vowed today to continue leading the union for greater media freedom.
Hata said he was terminated from his senior journalist post on April 21, a week after the Umno-owned paper’s disciplinary inquiry said he was guilty of breaching the terms of his contract.
He led a nasi lemak “protest” today against lack of media freedom in front of Utusan Malaysia’s office here.
“We’re doing this not only for media freedom but also to develop Malaysian journalism,” he told reporters here after enjoying Utusan-wrapped nasi lemak.
Hata said the Utusan letter dated April 21 said the three-man domestic inquiry panel had decided to sack him with immediate effect for making statements to online news portals that damaged the credibility of the newspaper.
“After taking into account factors presented during the domestic inquiry and the circumstances surrounding the charges, the Company has no choice but to terminate you with immediate effect from this letter’s date of issue,” read the eight-page letter sent to Hata.
The letter was signed by Utusan human resources general manager Mohd Nazlan Osman and copied to the Malay daily’s the executive chairman, group executive director, group chief editor and the human resources senior executive.
Hata has 14 days from the notice date to appeal the decision.
It is unclear if Hata will be allowed to keep his post as president of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) following his dismissal but the senior newsman said he was confident the union will continue to support him.
He cited as precedent J. Solomon’s continued tenure as general secretary of the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) despite the latter being sacked.
Hata also dismissed Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Rais Yatim’s proposal to set up a media consultative council, arguing that the industry should be allowed to regulate itself.
Hata cited unfettered but responsible reporting by online news portals like The Malaysian Insider and Malaysiakini as an example of how a self-regulating media industry would work.
He added that he hoped the Home Ministry will give a printing permit to the proposed Utusan Rakyat weekly — where Hata will be chief editor — so that the self-described bi-partisan newspaper can start to report in a balanced manner.
“If Utusan Rakyat gets approval from KDN (the Home Ministry)... we can be unbiased,” he said.
DESIDERATA: It's hope against hope that the BN government would approve Utusan Rakyat. Even the decade-old Suara Keadilan had its KDN suspended -- more than a year now, I believe -- and PKR emembers had to rely on their Pakatan Rakyat partners' news organs -- DAP's Rocket and PAS' HarakahDaily -- to keep informed.
The only way to real liberation of the information industry is the abolishment of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, or await another generation when the teenagers of today will form the next mature sizeable population who read and command the most "purchasing power" -- and the only source of news and views they know of is Internet-based or enabled. Hence, the success of malaysiakini.com and Malaysian Insider, as Hata himself noted. The traditional Print newspapers now meeting declining circulation will then become just "freebies" to be picked up at public places, with very limited print-runs, or die a fast death without a moment of "being missed" by the E-generation..
THINKING ALLOWED and ALOUD as preached by Blogger-turned MP-taiko Sdr YB Jeff Ooi, Desi may still lead a group of BUMmers in their individual capacities to promote BUM2011 towards end-May to mark World Press Freedom Day.
Watch this space or surf to BUM2010's dedicated website, bum4msia.wordpress.com. The web admin I nick AWEofHELEN will be beesy as -- a bee, what else -- by middle of next week, she had been diplomatically put on urgent notice! Hey, Desi has been practising his diplomatic charm, wit' with below-counter offers of endless rounds of tehtarik, kurang-kurang manis as sweeteners
which can mean....