10/11/2019 07:15 PM

PETALING JAYA, Nov 10 -- Communications and Multimedia Minister Gobind Singh Deo today said there is no indication to reduce the staff of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM). 

In fact, he said, these two organisations especially Bernama had carried several changes to keep up with technology.

"When you look entities like Bernama, you can see it is undergoing many reforms as we have already started on the effort to project ourselves, I think you can see new programmes, new look and feel factor we have adopted.

"So the question of jobs has really not come back to me yet, but it is something I will leave it to Bernama to decide and they will probably come back to me later, but at this point in time there is no indication there will be cut (reduce)...yet.

"And as for RTM, we are also looking at how we can transform, as you know recently we have just shut down the analog broadcast and had gone digital..once you have digital then there is potential for a lot more television stations, a lot more channels...a lot more content," he said when asked whether there was a plan to reduce the number of staff in Bernama and RTM just like Media Prima Berhad.

He was speaking to reporters after the Selangor DAP annual convention, here today.

On Nov 1, media giant Media Prima Berhad (Media Prima) announced a business transformation and internal restructuring exercise which were expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

Media Prima, however, has given its assurance that all employees affected by the transformation effort would receive a fair and equitable compensation package.

Gobind said the media landscape in the whole world has changed and at the end of the day it is moving towards technology-based media which resulted in a great impact on the traditional print media.

"So this is the reason why many traditional media houses have to reconsider their business model, of course at the end of the day, it really comes back down to commercial viability and I think they need to make decisions based on what is happening around them (and) how they gonna keep on as media houses for the  years to come.

"But again I would like to emphasise (that) we must always focus on the well-being of the staff, jobs are very important...but in the case of Utusan (Malaysia) (it is) very important to ensure the employees are paid,” he said.

On Oct 9, Utusan Malaysia ceased operations after a prolonged financial crisis, while their staff service tenure ending on Oct 31.

Last December, as part of the company’s cost-cutting measures, some 800 staff accepted a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) exercise.

Meanwhile, Gobind said the government is working with media agencies to find new mechanisms in dealing with fake news.

He said it is a joint responsibility between government and media to combat fake news.

“We also held discussions with certain members of the media to see whether we can form a platform to have a mechanism to deal with fake news,” he said.

Earlier in his speech, Gobind who is also Selangor DAP chairman said the ministry is working on improving internet infrastructure throughout the country to ensure the country is ready to face Industrial Revolution 4.0 (IR4.0).

"We are proud that we are able to reduce the price of broadband internet to provide better value to consumers,” he said.


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