UMNO Supreme Council should take responsibility to clear up the financial mess in Utusan Malaysia and not make the Utusan journalists scapegoats of UMNO kleptocracy and incompetence

The UMNO Supreme Council must take responsibility and clear up the financial mess in Utusan Malaysia and not make the Utusan Malaysia journalists as scapegoats of Umno kleptocracy and incompetence.

The Utusan Melayu Bhd staff have urged Abdul Aziz Sheikh Fadzir to return as executive chairman so that he can complete the task of turning the company – which is in a financial mess – around, as Aziz was fully aware of the company’s situation, having put in place a rescue plan for Utusan last June.

Nobody knows whether Aziz’s return to Utusan Malaysia would turn the newspaper around, but I fully agree with the National Union of Journalists (NUJ) secretary Basir Abu Bakar, who is also an Utusan reporter, that whoever helms the company must be committed to saving Utusan.

I will go one step further and state that the UMNO Supreme Council must not be allowed to run away from its responsibility to the Utusan Malaysia journalists, including those who have recently left, as UMNO’s fall from power in Putrajaya in the 14th General Election on May 9, 2018 cannot and must not be used as an excuse to dismiss the Utusan Malaysia journalists – unless UMNO is going to dissolve itself!

In this connection, I fully endorse the call of Gerakan Media Merdeka (Geramm) to the Utusan Malaysia management to take swift actions to resolve its outstanding issues with Utusan as it is unfair for Utusan Malaysia's management to sideline the rights of their former workers who for many years had contributed to the company and made a sacrifice in order to keep the country's oldest Malay newspaper afloat.

Lim Kit Siang MP for Iskandar Puteri