KUALA LUMPUR, 21 May: Former journalist of Utusan Malaysia, Hata Wahari urges the Malay Language newspaper management to return to the lofty journalistic ethics and to reject racism in their coverage.
Hata, a former senior journalist at Utusan Malaysia was fired three years ago stood alone with a banner titled “Message to the Chief Editor of Utusan” in front of the Utusan Malaysia office here at Jalan Chan Sow Lin.
Hata said that he came here on the anniversary of his dismissal to hold a protest against the coverage and authoring policy of Utusan Malaysia which he claims to have become more racist and has deviated from the original struggle of the newspaper.
The bunting contains the message:
“Stop Irresponsible Journalism. Be a Journalist Who Upholds the Ethics of Journalism. Do not mortgage the Future of Utusan for Personal Interests. Do not be a Racist Journalist.
“This year is the third year after I was sacked from Utusan Malaysia. I am here to hold the banner to express my dissatisfaction towards this newspaper.
“As long as they do not change, I will come every year. Every 20 May I will come as a sign of protest,” said Hata who is also the former President of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ).
The protest invited ridicule from Utusan Malaysia staff that came en masse out to the front of the newspaper’s headquarters.
He added that what has happened to Utusan Malaysia at the moment is disappointing and the level of journalism has been decreasing.
Hata who served more than 15 years with Utusan Malaysia said that the newspaper has deviated from the original struggle as the voice of the majority of Malaysians.
Instead, it is now only a tool for stakeholders.
“Utusan is actually owned by Malaysians. In 1939, RM12,500 was gathered by the people of various races for Utusan Malaysia to form Utusan Melayu Berhad.
“The funds did not come from Umno. Umno acquired Utusan around 1963, that is why there was a large strike at Utusan that year causing Utusan to be in paralysis for 93 days because they failed to publish newspapers,” he said.