Bankrupt broadcaster ABN owes contractors RM130mil

Nine contractors of the defunct Asian Broadcasting Network have lodged a police report over payments not received for their services.

Jarjeet Gill, one of the contractors, said liquidator appointed by the courts following ABN’s bankruptcy case last year had revealed that ABN owed RM200 million to Bank Pembangunan Berhad. However about 100 contractors were owed RM130 million and had not been paid after four years.

“We want the authorities to investigate and find out where the money went to.”

He also called for investigations into how ABN received its licence in the first place despite having no prior experience.

ABN operated ABNxcess, the sole digital cable television service in Malaysia, launched on 8 June 2013.

The main people behind it were Sreedhar Subramaniam, the chief executive, and politically well connected businessman Tan Sri Kenneth Eswaran.

Sreedhar and P’ng Hong Kwan, a former editor with the New Straits Times, started the Malaysian Insider Web site in 2008.



Myanmar Times co-founder held in drug raid

Ross Dunkley, the Australian co-founder of the Myanmar Times newspaper, was arrested during a late-night drug raid at his Yangon home on Wednesday. .

Another foreigner, six men, all Myanmar nationals, and a maid were also arrested. Police said they seized methamphetamine, marijuana and 0.1gm of heroin, other drugs, a range of currencies, 10 handsets and a Range Rover car.

Dunkley, 60, co-founded the Myanmar Times in 2000 with U Sonny Swe, whose father was senior member of the Military Intelligence, and associate of the then printed minister.

In 2014 father and son were arrested in a purge and jailed. They were freed after three years.

After the arrest control of the Myanmar Times was transferred to a close associate of the hardline Information Minister.

In early 2015, Dunkley sold his shares in the paper.


Can Malaysians cope with free speech?

Can Utusan meet the challenges of a new era?

UiTM protest 2008. Can Utusan meet the challenges of a new era? [Utusan photo]


How will TV3, New Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia report news now? Will they still shut out any news from Pakatan Harapan? They obviously can’t, that would mean not reporting on the Malaysian government. Will they be very critical? Maybe they should be.

What about news organisations that have been anti-establishment? Anti-establishment doesn’t mean anti-BN any more. I’m going through the same adjustment too.

Utusan Malaysia have continued to take the stand of preserving Malay rights. Many people slammed Utusan for being racist even though the rest of Malaysia had already moved on. Let Utusan say whatever it wants to say. It is a new era of freedom of speech. But let other people also say whatever they want. Let this discourse and debate happen in the media and just keep it from being violent. That is true freedom of speech.

Malaysian people need to increase their media and news savviness. They need to be more aware so that they don’t become gullible and subservient to all the differing opinions and information. We must not fall into a lull and must always be on our toes. — Condensed from Malaysiakini | » Can Malaysians handle freedom of speech?

How Barisan failed spectacularly on social media

Najib Razak launching the 1Malaysia Negaraku campaign in August 2017

Najib Razak launching the 1Malaysia Negaraku campaign in August 2017. [Photo: Malaysian Insight]

Arms-length, slick prime minister-driven campaign with a lot of chest-thumping

Barisan Nasional’s propaganda campaign failed on social media by trying to beat social media users “into submission” the way it had with the controlled mass media, according to a branding consultant. BN had used social media aggressively but had not used it properly. Instead of being based on issues that mattered to the voters, BN created an arms-length, slick, prime minister-driven campaign with a lot of chest thumping, but Pakatan Harapan supporters “were embracing voters in the digital coffee shops with informal, instantaneous responses to issues”. — Free Malaysia Today. | » BRANDING GURU TELLS WHY BARISAN NASIONAL FAILED

Utusan to lay off half its 1,400 staff

Najib Razak opened Utusan's new headquarters of  three seven-storey blocks in Jalan Enam, renamed to Jalan Utusan, in Kuala Lumpur.

In 2013, Najib Razak opened Utusan’s new headquarters of three seven-storey blocks in Jalan Enam, renamed to Jalan Utusan, in Kuala Lumpur. [13 Sept 2013 – Star photo]

Half the staff and workers at Utusan Malaysia are to be laid off. The troubled Umno-owned newspaper, which is bleeding millions every month, says it has to “rebuild from scratch”.

Utusan Malaytsia front page June 7

Utusan Malaysia today

The company’s group managing director, Datuk Mohd Noordin Abbas, said a Voluntary Separation Scheme would be considered. The work force will be cut, probably by 50 percent from the existing 1,400 staff but the company would need to find the money to fund the lay-offs.

Similar job losses have already taken place at the New Straits Times Press and The Star, where the company announced last week that Star group editor Leanne Goh, together with the chief operating officer and the head of advertising, had taken early retirement. Senior and experience journalists had already been let go since last year at both NSTP and Star.

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New Malaysia welcomes Ali, Ah Chong and Muthu

The return of Ali, Ah Chong and Muthu

The return of Ali, Ah Chong and Muthu. This is satire.

New Malaysia, same as Old Old Malaysia:

Malay boss, Chinese money man, Indian lawyer


Welcome to the New Malaysia, same like the old, Old Malaysia. (There was also Crony Malaysia in between, but you should just skip over those years. They never happened, ammairite?)

You might remember the Old Malaysia if you’re of a certain age, or have read about it in articles or postings by people reminiscing about a golden era.

Those days when little children happily sang along to Malaysia Berjaya when the song came over the radio or the black and white television. Correction, “children of all races“. You must always say “all races“.

The days of the Alliance of Umno, MCA and MIC, under the fatherly embrace of Bapa Malaysia.

The days of Ali, Ah Chong and Muthu.

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A newsroom run by robots gets the scoops

Kim Jong Nam at KL International Airport, February 2017

Kim Jong Nam at KL International Airport, February 2017

Kim Jong Nam’s murder at KLIA last year was the making of a Japanese businessman’s budding news service. News Digest, run by tech startup JX Press, broke the news half an hour before the big names — without any reporters on staff, let alone an international bureau.

“Television has succumbed to being a slow media,” a sociologist observed. JX Press’s secret is a combination of social media and artificial intelligence to find breaking news in social media posts and writing it up as news reports. Essentially, it’s a newsroom staffed by engineers.

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Esther Ng is new Star Group Editor, rebranded as Chief Content Officer

Group chief editor Leanne Goh takes early retirement, together with chief operating officer Calvin Kan, and advertising chief Lim Bee Leng

Star group chief editor Leanne Goh has been replaced by Esther Ng Sek Yee, who is now designated as Chief Content Officer and the Editorial Department has been renamed to Content Department in changes announced by the company today.

Group CEO Wong Chun Wai in a notice issued today said Roy Tan Kong Weng would become Group Chief Operating Office. Tan had spearheaded the media group’s foray into streaming TV through the Dimsum internet broadcasting property. Continue reading

Too eager to please: Malaysia’s bum-sucking media

Political cartoonist has been in more trouble than any reporter or editor.

Political cartoonist Zunar has been in more trouble than any reporter or editor.

Sucking up to authorities has always been an easy way to run a media organisation. Ask any editor. Writing articles that are laudatory in tone and content are a sure-fire entry card to the halls of power. Ask any reporter.

And Malaysian media have reverted to their old bum-sucking ways – so says political cartoonist Zunar, who has seen more trouble than almost any reporter or editor. He is not impressed with the Malaysian media in the first weeks of a new government that promised to uphold media freedom and abolish oppressive laws.

“Have they really become free or are they just trying to please the new government? It seems everyone is sucking up to them,” he told Free Malaysia Today. The media were not giving the new government leaders a good enough grilling. The media appeared to view all Pakatan Harapan leaders in a good light.

“A free media is one that criticises the government of the day, not the opposition…in some of the interviews I’ve seen, the answers provided just aren’t satisfactory and lack details. We aren’t forcing ministers to be well prepared. What they talk about is too general and the media hails everything they say.” » READ THE FULL FMT ARTICLE