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Tweet tonight to help RTM, Bernama journos

Tue 2015-Mar-3 @ MYT 14:51:29 pm
Twitter campaign to push the Cabinet
GerammGeramm urges all media workers and supporters to show their solidarity by retweeting a message from its official Twitter account @MediaGeramm on 9pm (March 3) and noon (March 4) – directed towards the Twitter accounts of communications minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek and prime minister Najib Razak

Cutbacks, unpaid salaries – broadcasting journalists feel the pinch of crony capitalism

In trouble since “privatisation” in an Umno crony deal

Journalists will go on Twitter tonight to campaign on behalf of broadcating staff and contract workers who have suffered cutbacks and unpaid earnings at national broadcaster Radio-Television Malaysia and Bernama TV, an affiliate of Bernama, the national news agency.

The two media houses, both government-owned, have had financial problems. particularly at Bernama TV which, despite its name, was privatised under a typical Umno-Barisan Nasional crony deal.

Tonight’s “Solidarity Media for Media” campaign, by Geramm (the angry journalists movement) will start at 9pm with a tweet urging the prime minister Najib Razak and information minister Ahmad Shabery Cheek to ensure the welfare of RTM and BTV staff.

Tomorrow (Wednesday) it will begin at 12pm, two hours before the weekly Cabinet meeting.

Cost-cutting and journalists' welfare

Cost-cutting and journalists’ welfare

RTM contract workers say they had been unpaid since December. Some have taken to odd jobs, including selling coconuts.

Shabery Cheek has said an administrative error caused the payment problem. The national broadcaster currently undergoing restructuring to prepare for high-definition and digital broadcasting.

» Shabery’s RTM austerity defence off the mark

Bernama TV was unable to pay January salaries until the parent news agency, which owns 30% of the privatised entity, gave a loan to pay salaries up to February.

Bernama is to take over the station from the private owners, Shabery Cheek has announced.

Shuffling it around, but nothing ever happens

Another bailout coming in 2015, just like in 2011?

Another bailout coming in 2015, just like in 2011?

Bernama TV staff on unpaid leave

Last month, Malaysiakini reported that 30 of Bernama TV’s 140 staff had complained to the Labour Department about their unpaid salaries. They had all been told to go on unpaid leave.

The salary problems began late last year, when staff went without pay for nine weeks, taking on odd jobs in the meantime.

A Labour Department officer confirmed a report had been lodged and that arbitration efforts would begin.

Problems dating back to 2009, highlighted by Wee Choo Keong, then MP for Wangsa Maju

Problems dating back to 2009, highlighted by Wee Choo Keong, then MP for Wangsa Maju

“When covering ministers, the media is at the front. Now that Bernama TV has fallen flat, I want to see which minister will come forward,” reads another tweet which mentions Najib, Shabery, and Khairy.

BTV is owned by Bernama TV Synergy Sdn Bhd, which is 33 percent owned by the national newswire. The rest of Bernama TV Synergy is privately-owned.

Who owns Bernama TV?

from Free Malaysia Today, quoting Teo Nie Cheng, MP for Kulai

Bernama TV Synergy Sdn Bhd (BRTV) was set up in 2008 to launch and manage the new 24 hour news channel “Bernama TV”, aired via Astro channel 502.

Its shareholders consist of four companies: Bernama Berhad, 33 per cent; Silver Ridge Multimedia Sdn Bhd, 30 per cent; Standard Code Sdn Bhd, 30 per cent; and Hallmax Entertainment Sdn Bhd 7 per cent.

Blogger Big Dog's comment in 2011

Blogger Big Dog’s comment in 2011

Apparently, Bernama was given the 33 per cent share block in return for giving the exclusive broadcasting rights to BRTV to operate and manage BTV.

Under the Agreement, Bernama will rent out all the equipment (including studio and office space) to BRTV. It will also outsource its Audio Visual staff to continue operating the new TV channel. By doing this, Bernama would be able to generate income from the idle equipment and facilities and will not need to retrench its staff.

However, like many other good ideas in Malaysia, it did not happen as planned. By mid-2009, BRTV owed Bernama the total amount of RM18 million. This is primarily the rental of equipment, office space and the cost of the outsourcing staff.

In a nutshell, Bernama has been funding the operation of BRTV in the following manner: funding about RM1 million monthly to pay the salaries of BRTV staff; spending about RM4 million to RM5 million on a new studio and upgrading of equipment in 2013; seconding about 25 staff to work in BRTV (but under the payroll of Bernama); and paying for many other items including utilities, travelling, equipment rental etc.


Harakah refuses to back down on Riza story

Mon 2015-Mar-2 @ MYT 18:59:31 pm

Harakah Daily, the online newspaper of PAS, has refused to retract an article questioning the wealth of Riza Aziz, son of Rosmah Mansor and stepson of prime minister Najib Razak, Malaysian Insider reports.

The web site’s managing editor Dr Rosli Yaakob said he was prepared to go to court.

He had written a commentary based on a New York Times article that linked Riza Aziz with Jho Low, the Penang businessman, and the controversial 1Malaysia Development Berhad, which has been described as government-owned “investment company” and “sovereign wealth fund”.

Najib’s lawyers sent a demand letter on Friday asking for a retraction, apology and damages, the usual precursor to a defamation suit. It said Rosli’s article was an “irresponsible slander that was nothing more than pure lies”. Read more…

Myanmar paper: Jho Low a ‘Penang conman’ and Rosmah a ‘shopaholic wrecking ball’

Mon 2015-Mar-2 @ MYT 13:57:20 pm

Najib ‘a notorious philanderer’ says columnist
as he lets fly with colourful phrases about the PM,
Rosmah, 1MDB, and Rosmah’s son Riza Aziz


It’s hilarious.

A Myanmar newspaper has described Jho Low as “a Penang conman” in a commentary that says prime minister Najib Razak is “under the sway of his wife”, calling Rosmah Mansor “a shopaholic wrecking ball”.

Najib is said to be “a notorious philanderer in his early days” but he’s not the only one; the writer says Najib was just “like most UMNO leaders” in his philandering. Give the man a cigar, I might think.

Myanmar TimesReferring to the Altantuya murder, the writer suggests that Malaysians believe that Altantuya was also Najib’s mistress besides being the lover of Najib’s associate Abdul Razak Baginda, the policy analyst who now lives in the UK after being acquitted without his defence being called for the Altantuya murder.

The commentary by writer Roger Mitton in the Myanmar Times newspaper was published last Monday, and mentioned by the DAP’s Lim Kit Siang in a statement on Saturday. Coincidentally, the columnist quotes an opposition figure who, from past experience, is known to occasionally succumb to hyperbolia extremis. Mitton writes: An opposition MP has called the fund fiasco “the mother of the mother of the mother of all scandals in the history of Malaysia.”

A stirring phrase, eh? There’s a lot more.

Mitton and his opposition friend share a common love of language as you can see: Read more…

‘Unpardonable sin’ by PM’s Office – Kadir

Fri 2015-Feb-27 @ MYT 15:43:07 pm

Former NSTP group chief editor A Kadir Jasin has accused the prime minister’s office of “an unpardonable sin” in alluding to “legacy family wealth” in a response to an article in the New York Times earlier this month.

“Unless the PMO makes an about turn and deny ever making a statement to the NYT about Mohd Najib’s so-called inheritance, it stands accused of tainting the memory of that great man,” said Kadir, writing in his blog on Wednesday.

Photo posted at Kadir Jasin’s blog with the caption ‘Tun Razak a frugal man’

“The PMO propaganda machine can do whatever it likes even at the expense of ethics and morality to protect the PM and his wife. But for it to dishonour and disrespect the memory of Tun Abdul Razak is an unpardonable sin.”

Kadir’s comment on the response by the PM’s Office came in the bottom half of his blog posting, which had been about the prime minister’s wife, Rosmah Mansor, and her comments about rising costs and her RM1,200 hairdo.

“I leave it entirely to readers and debaters to make sense of the RM1,200-hairdo. You can credit her for speaking up on behalf of consumers or loath her for the hair raising price she paid for hair colouring,” he said, before going on to the joint statement by Najib’s four brothers. Read more…

Barisan papers fail basic journalism

Fri 2015-Feb-27 @ MYT 15:24:02 pm

Utusan, NST, Star, Sun chicken out when Tun Razak’s sons
(minus Najib) respond to ‘legacy family wealth’ claim

Former New Straits Times Press group chief editor A Kadir Jasin has rightly questioned why major newspapers owned by Barisan Nasional parties failed to carry a joint statement by the four brothers of prime minister Najib Abdul Razak defending their late father’s reputation against the prime minister’s office alluding to “legacy family wealth”.

Kadir said the BN papers had flouted a basic rule of journalism, the right of reply, by not allowing the four brothers to respond to what had already been published about their father in those very newspapers and elsewhere.

The New York Times. Feb 8

The New York Times. Feb 8

He told Malaysiakini: “What’s important to note here is that there must be something terribly wrong with the PMO statement to prompt the brothers to not only distance themselves from the content of that statement, but to accuse it of tarnishing the image of their late father” (Tun Abdul Razak, the second prime minister).

Tun Razak’s sons, minus Najib, issued a joint statement on Tuesday night, emailed to all major newspapers, Malaysiakini, Malaysian Insider and The Edge.

They had defended Razak’s reputation for integrity and frugality in response to a statement by the Prime Minister’s Office published in the New York Times. Read more…

BN media black out Najib’s brothers

Thu 2015-Feb-26 @ MYT 16:35:50 pm
Asia Sentinel report on Wednesday


Newspapers owned by Barisan Nasional parties Umno and MCA have blacked out a media statement by Najib Razak’s brothers defending their late father’s reputation for integrity and frugality, Malayakini reports.

The statement had been in response to a New York Times report about purported “legacy family wealth” accounting for lavish spending by Najib’s family.

The four junior sons of the late Tun Abdul Razak, second prime minister, had emailed their joint statement to the largest-circulating newspapers, and to Malaysiakini, Malaysian Insider and business weekly The Edge.

None of the Barisan Nasional-owned newspapers carried any report on the statement, Malaysiakini said.

NOT REPORTED: Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, New Straits Times (all owned or controlled by Umno), The Star (owned by the MCA).
REPORTED: Sinchew Daily, Nanyang Siang Pau and China Press.

Read more…

Charlie Hebdo: here we go again!

Wed 2015-Feb-25 @ MYT 12:20:22 pm
I know some will say that we are obsessed, but we’re not the ones who are obsessed. It’s those who create the news who are obsessed. And those who create it are terrorists. Gérard Biard, chief editor
The newspaper, just like any newspaper, must continue because life goes on, the news continues. Patrick Pelloux, columnist


The latest issue, out today. © Charlie Hebdo


It’s business as usual at the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, resuming publication more than a month after two gunmen attacked their offices in Paris, killing 12, including the editor, Charb.

“We needed a break, a rest… There were those who needed to work again straight away, like me, and those who wanted to take more time,” says Gérard Biard, the publication’s new chief editor. “So we reached a compromise, and agreed on February 25… to start off again on a weekly basis.”

The paper had rushed out a “survivors’ issue” the week after the shooting on January 7, selling out an 8mil print run far beyond expectations. Its usual print run had been 60,000 copies and the weekly had been struggling financially.

If the cover of Charlie Hebdo’s next issue says anything, it’s that it will be business as usual: itt features a range of political and religious figures, including former French president Nicolas Sarkozy, a jihadist and the pope, as a pack of rabid dogs over the headline, “…Here we go again!”

The satirical weekly has a long history of courting controversy, lampooning political and religious figures of all stripes. Read more…


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