Why must the staff become the victims of mismanagement?
With the involvement of Yg Bhg Datuk Mohd Suhaimi bin Abdullah (Ketua Bahagian, UMNO Gunung Jerai), it smells of UMNO connection!
On 29 July 2009 I have received a comment in my blog concerning BERNAMA BHD and Bernama TV under my posting of 17 July 2009 as follow:
(An excerpt of the comment from Anonymous on July 29, 2009 at 3:47 am:)
“Kami warga perkhidmatan audio visual/bernama tv ingin meluahkan rasa tidak puas hati dengan pengurusan bernama yang membuat keputusan drastik terhadap kami yang terpaksa ditukarkan ke beberapa jabatan mengikut kepakaran masing2. Mulai 1/8,ada yang terpaksa pergi ke RTM dan beberapa jabatan tertentu di BERNAMA. Masalahnya penukaran tempat2 tersebut di buat dalam jangka masa 3 hari sahaja.
Secara asas kami bersetuju ditukarkan untuk memberi tekanan kepada btv synergy,cuma keputusan ini yang secara drastik melibatkan masalah2 terutama kepada mereka yang ditukarkan ke RTM. YB Wee ada sesetengah petugas perkhidmatan audio visual yelah bertugas di Bernama lebih 12 tahun, terpaksa menanggung kos akibat terpaksa berpindah ke RTM. Kata mereka ini adalah sementara, tetapi setelah banyak kali kami dijanjikan banyak harapan akhirnya kami yang menjadi mangsa.”
I am shocked by this comment and immediately did some checking. BERNAMA Bhd has taken action to terminate the agreement with Bernama TV Synergy Sdn Bhd (BTV) to broadcast news under the name of Bernama TV. BERNAMA Bhd has also filed a civil suit in the High Court to recover a debt of more than RM15 million from the BTV outfit. This is consistent with the answer given by the Minister of Information, Communication and Culture, YB Datuk Rais Yatim, to my question in Parliament on 17 June 2009 as follows:
“ BERNAMA TV dikendalikan oleh syarikat usaha sama BERNAMA dengan syarikat swasta di mana BERNAMA diberikan saham percuma sebanyak 33%. BERNAMA seterusnya membenarkan jenamanya digunakan.
Selepas beberapa peringatan diberikan kepada syarikat persendirian tersebut, tindakan mahkamah telah pun diambil untuk mendapatkan hutang tertunggak tersebut.”
Three Days’ Transfer Notice
First and foremost, it was most unfair for any organization to transfer its staff with only 3 days’ notice (1st August) for whatever reasons because of job security and other personal commitments. The staff should not be treated like a “football” to be kicked at the whim and fancy of the Board of Directors. I sincerely hope that the management of BERNAMA Bhd will take into consideration the welfare of the staff and give them at least a good one month notice for them to prepare themselves and to make the informed decision on the transfer.
Why must members of staff be made the victims of corporate mismanagement by the head of an organization?
BERNAMA Bhd was set up under the BERNAMA ACT 1967 with its objective clearly stated in Section 4 of the Act “to seek for and present complete, objective and impartial news matter of public interest and national interest, and distribute such news”. There is no provision in the Act for BERNAMA Bhd to allow its corporate name “BERNAMA” to be used by a private entity.
But the management of BERNAMA Bhd not only allowed its name to be used by BERNAMA TV but also to incorporate a private company known as BERNAMA TV Synergy Sdn Bhd (Bernama TV). Bernama Bhd has also allowed BTV to use the BERNAMA official logo. Bernama TV also appears in the BERNAMA official website (www.bernama.com/aboutbernama/bi/index.htm), as though it is part of Bernama Bhd.
Up till now Bernama TV has no broadcasting licence. It is riding on the broadcasting licence of ASTRO and yet it gives the impression to the public that it is part of our national news agency, BERNAMA Bhd.
As at 19 June 2009 the registered particulars of BERNAMA TV Synergy Sdn Bhd are as follows:
- It was incorporated on 14 January 2008.
- Its prominent directors are:
- Yg Bhg Dato Syed Hamzah bin Syed Abu Bakar;
- Yg Bhg Datuk Azman bin Ujang (General Manager of Bernama until 1st July 2008);
- Yg Bhg Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Anuar bin Zaini (Chairman of Bernama);
- Mr Visvakumar A/L Sangiah (Senior Manager Human Resources and Administration);
- Yg Bhg Datuk Mohd Suhaimi bin Abdullah (Ketua Bahagian, UMNO Gunung Jerai)
- Major Shareholders are:
- Bernama Bhd 3,300,000 (free) shares
- Silver Ridge (Multimedia) Sdn Bhd 2,999,998 shares
(Paid up capital RM100,000.00 – Yg Bhg Datuk Mohd Suhaimi holds 99,999 shares)
3. Hallmax Entertainment Sdn Bhd 700,000 shares
(A RM2 company)
4. Standard Code Sdn Bhd 3,000,000 shares
(A RM2 company)
It would appear from the Parliamentary answer that Bernama Bhd took pride that it was given a 33% free shares in Bernama TV. Actually there is nothing to shout about as far as the shareholding is concerned. Bernama Bhd has no control of Bernama TV as it only has 33% of the equity in BTV. In its Board of Directors, Bernama Bhd also has no control because out of the 8 directors, there are only 3 members from Bernama Bhd (Yg Bhg Datuk Azman bin Ujang, Yg Bhg Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Anuar bin Zaini and Mr Visvakumar A/L Sangiah.)
It is also interesting to note from the shareholdings of Bernama TV, Hallmax Entertainment Sdn Bhd and Standard Code Sdn Bhd are RM2 companies and yet they could purchase BTV shares amounting to 700,000 shares and 3,000,000 shares respectively. It was just incredible.
With the above facts in mind, it was crystal clear that at the material time, the three top officers in Bernama Bhd in the Board of Directors of Bernama TV, headed by its Chairman, Yg Bhg Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Anuar bin Zaini, knew or ought to have known that it was unlawful to allow the corporate name and logo of “BERNAMA” to be used by a private company and at the same time with no effective control of Bernama TV. By virtue of this fact, Yg Bhg Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Anuar bin Zaini, as a director of BTV and the chairman of Bernama Bhd, was clearly in the position of conflict of interest, and for this reason he did not protect the interests of Bernama Bhd.
Hence, BTV was allowed to chalk up more than RM10 million debts with Bernama Bhd over a period of 2 years with little actions from Bernama Bhd until recently. May I ask: Why was such an unhealthy situation allowed to persist? Was it due to the involvement of Yg Bhg Datuk Mohd Suhaimi bin Abdullah, Ketua Bahagian, UMNO Gunung Jerai, in BTV outfit?
Yg Bhg Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Anuar bin Zaini must take full responsibility and withdraw the 3 days’ notice to transfer the staff.
Yg Bhg Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Anuar bin Zaini must not make the innocent members of staff to pay for the above ill-thought-out decisions made by the top management of Bernama Bhd. Therefore, the 3 days’ transfer notice should be withdrawn forthwith and replace with options for the members of staff to consider whether or not to accept the transfer.
Yg Bhg Datuk Seri Panglima Mohd Anuar bin Zaini, as chairman of Bernama Bhd, must take full responsibility for this ill-though-out decision to allow BTV to use the corporate name of BERNAMA and its logo, when he knew or ought to have known that it was not in the best interest of Bernama Bhd especially when Bernama TV has no broadcasting licence. It is without a doubt that the image of Bernama Bhd has been severely affected and will take years to recover.
If there is such a similar situation that happened in the BBC or any other national news agency, the Chairman would have to resign immediately for the said ill-thought-out decision, in order to take responsibility and an investigation will ensue.
Lastly, I call upon YB Datuk Rais Yatim, the Minister of Information, Communication and Culture to intervene and to stop the 3 days’ transfer notice for the members of staff and to ensure their security of tenure with Bernama Bhd in the event of their temporary transfers to other news agencies like RTM and etc. YB Datuk Rais Yatim should also direct the Board of Bernama Bhd to stop Bernama TV to use the corporate name of BERNAMA.