After 80 years, Malaysia’s oldest and longest-running publication, Utusan Melayu Bhd, finally closes down today due to severe financial constraints. They announced that they could carry on with business in August 2019 after receiving a sum from UMNO (United Malays National Organisation), but still, none of that helped Utusan Melayu Bhd stand back up on their feet.
Very recently, NUJ (National Union Journalist) Utusan came forward and accused the Utusan Melayu Bhd’s owners of not facing their employees because they didn’t explain their decision to “liquidate the company”, reported The Star. NUJ representative Mohd Taufek Razak, who worked for the company, was quoted as saying,
“They have all run away. They are all cowards – with no guts to tell us whether they will pay us compensation or our due salaries. We don’t know what our future holds for us.”
Taufek claimed that over 700 employees have been put on forced leave until 30th October 2019 by Utusan Melayu Bhd. They have neither given a termination letter nor a job offer to their employees. On top of that, the company still owes them two months worth of salary. Taufek continued,
“We do not know whether to be angry or sad. We are confused. We have not received any termination letter, only a notice saying that we cannot enter the building after it is sealed at 1pm on Oct 9th.”
“The action by our employer is inhumane – without giving us compensation or proper notice on what is happening like all of this is something which was predictable.”
“Today, at the briefing to us, there was not even one representative of the executives, and they left it to the editorial department and liquidator to explain to us what is happening. None of those at the managerial level were here.”
Having said that, Taufek mentioned that the interim liquidator extended the vacating period until 6pm on Thursday (10th October 2019) out of kindness. Mohd Taufek shared that the journalists of Utusan worked without pay because they loved the company so much.
“Despite them not paying us for months, we still worked. We love this company. This is what happens when a political party owns a newspaper – in the end, we are left in a lurch,” explained Taufek.
Well, we are sorry for them, and we hope that they will find better opportunities in life. How do you think the owners of Utusan Melayu Bhd should have handled their employees who worked for them for many years? Drop your thoughts in the comments below!