KUALA LUMPUR: The fate of 800 staff of Kumpulan Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd has become the centre of attention again as the company was rumoured to be shut down today.
This follows what is allegedly a decision by Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad group executive chairman Datuk Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzir to voluntarily declare the company bankrupt.
Utusan National Union of Journalist (NUJ) secretary Muhammad Basir Abu Bakar said all employees had been asked to clear their desks by 1pm today.
He added that reporters and photographers were also not given assignments for today.
“So far, the staff have not been formally notified by the management, but have only been asked to vacate their desks,” he said.
He claimed the decision to declare the company bankrupt was to avoid paying any compensation to employees and former employees who took the Voluntary Separation Scheme (VSS).
He added that if the rumour was true, it would be a slap in the face for Malay news publication industry.
“We also want Datuk Abd Aziz to deliver his promise to not put a ‘batu nisan’ (tomb stone) on Utusan,” he said.
Utusan NUJ is expected to hold a press conference at 12pm at its headquarters in Jalan Chan Sow Lin over the matter.
Yesterday, Bernama reported that Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd will dispose of 70 per cent of its equity interest in its wholly-owned subsidiary, Dilof Sdn Bhd to Aurora Mulia Sdn Bhd.
Read the story here.