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Malaysia: Fired reporter says his newspaper was used for propaganda purposes

Paris-based press freedom group Reporters sans Frontières (RSF) has condemned daily Utusan Malaysia’s decision on 21 April to fire one of its journalists, Hata Wahari, because he accused it of failing to provide the public with objective news coverage in the run-up to last year’s elections.

“By firing Wahari, Utusan Malaysia’s management has just confirmed the correctness of his criticism,” RSF said. “As president of the National Union Of Journalists Malaysia (NUJ), he did what he was supposed to do when he raised the problem of the Malaysian media’s biased election coverage. As he was not guilty of any professional misconduct, there were no legal grounds for his dismissal.”

Wahari, who had worked for Utusan Malaysia since 1995, was elected NUJ president last September. In that position, he continues to criticise the newspaper’s lack of independence and the fact that many of the country’s media are too close to the government.

Date posted: May 10, 2011 Last modified: May 23, 2018 Total views: 671