Jacqueline Park, IFJ
May 6, 11
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) fully supports a senior journalist and union leader in Malaysia who is appealing to Malaysia’s Industrial Relations Department to order his reinstatement at Utusan Malaysia newspaper.
Hata Wahari, president of IFJ affiliate the National Union of Journalists Malaysia (NUJM), was sacked by Utusan Melayu Berhad after it accused him of tarnishing the paper’s image when he publicly expressed concerns about partisan coverage by Utusan.
Hata was dismissed from his position on April 21, after being suspended on January 11.
A domestic inquiry by the media company’s management determined on April 14 that Wahari was “guilty” of eight accusations of “misconduct”.
Utusan is owned by Umno, the dominant political party in Malaysia’s ruling coalition.
The IFJ joins the NUJM in calling on Malaysia’s human resources minister to act promptly in referring Wahari’s appeal to the Industrial Court.
Jacqueline Park is Asia-Pacific director of IFJ, that represents more than 600,000 journalists in 131 countries