First Hindraf, now Malaysiakini.
RTM has lodged a police report against news web portal Malaysiakini and two other Tamil newspapers, claiming that they falsely reported that the recent letting-go of two radio presenters from MINNALfm were linked to their involvement in the Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf). (STAR) – sorry, this is a total cut and paste story from the “people’s paper”.
In the same police report, RTM further denied that an internal job reshuffle involving five other radio presenters were also due to their links to Hindraf.
RTM Broadcasting director-general Datuk Abdul Rahman Hamid lodged the report at the Pantai police station on Thursday. The two Tamil newspapers were Malaysia Nanban and Makkal Osai.
“The Dec 3 article stated that our radio station MINNALfm had terminated a few presenters because they supported Hindraf. This is false. What happened was, we decided not to renew the annual contracts of two presenters.
“They were not sacked as claimed. The decision was made on Oct 29, way before the illegal Hindraf gathering on Nov 25,” said Abdul Rahman in the police report.
On the five other radio presenters, Abdul Rahman said their services were not terminated for being involved in Hindraf as published by Malaysiakini in an article on Dec 4.
“The five were merely relieved of their deejay-ing work. Instead, they were given tasks to assist the executive producer, such as conducting research, selecting songs and preparing scripts,” said Abdul Rahman in his police report which also claimed the articles were libellous.
He said the job reshuffle of the five presenters was a routine procedure involving staff in stations under RTM.
Yesterday, Abdul Rahman was present at a press conference where his superior, Information Ministry deputy secretary-general (management) Datuk Azmi Mohd Ali, said the contracts of the two presenters were not renewed because they did not perform to mark.
The two are V. Jamuna and S. Dhayalan.
“We do not even know if it is true the two were involved in Hindraf. What we know is only from hearsay.
“But the two had disciplinary problems. For instance, one of them had not turned up for work and was caught using the office telephone to make personal calls overseas.
“The other, when asked to do some editing work on Nov 7, passed it to someone else,” said Azmi.
As for the other five presenters, also working on contract basis, they were in trouble for failing to turn up for work after their job reshuffle was made known to them on Tuesday.
“They will be given a chance to explain why they did not turn up for work. If they continue to be absent, disciplinary action will be meted out and our options include terminating their contracts,” said Azmi.