A former Kosmo journalist decided to become a full-time Grab driver following the closure of Utusan Melayu. - NSTP/File pic

JOHOR BARU: A Kosmo journalist has been driving Grab since May after his employer, Utusan Melayu faced a prolonged financial crisis and delayed paying salaries for several months.

After receiving an internal memo that the nation’s oldest Malay language newspaper would cease its operation yesterday, Mohd Izuan Roseli made the decision to become a full-time Grab driver, a job which he had no choice, but to take on until he finds a new job.

“If possible, I want to find a job around Johor Baru or try my luck in Singapore. My family is here with me now.

“I think I would not look for a media job because of the media industry in Malaysia is downsizing while some media companies are facing financial constraints,” said the Penang-born reporter, when contacted by Bernama, here, today.

The 29-year-old father, who had served for six years, said he is not looking forward to any decisions made on Oct 30 and plans to look for new job opportunities as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, Utusan Johor Bureau marketing executive, Mohd Shahrul Azhar Yaacob said he did not expect Utusan to be closed down so soon, saying the management should have given advance notice before reaching the decision to cease operation.

“We did not expect it to shut down immediately, we should have been notified three months earlier so that we could prepare and have time to look for jobs elsewhere.

“There were rumours (on the closure), but no hints. We were all waiting for what was actually happened.

“And when we found out about the meeting, we were eventually told to gather our belongings and vacate the building,” said the father of a four-year-old boy.

Mohd Shahrul Azhar, who served 12 years in Utusan, said despite the sadness, he was grateful that his wife, who is a civil servant, was able to help him temporarily until he finds a new job.

“I am just wondering about how my other friends, who are married with many children while their wives are full-time housewives, will cope,” he said, hoping the management will provide allocations for staff who lost their source of income. -- Bernama

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