Veteran Newsman Rants at “DAP Haters” After Offer to Helm Bernama Revoked

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Journalist says lies undid his appointment as Bernama CEO.

Wan Hamidi Hamid, the former editor-in-chief of DAP mouthpiece The Rocket, will not be appointed as the new Bernama chief executive officer.

“After being a target of lies, unfair condemnations and personal attacks for quite some time, I have been informed that I will not be appointed as the Bernama CEO. This is despite being initially offered, persuaded and convinced to accept this job at the national news agency,” he said in a Facebook post.

“My apologies but I won’t be replying to any queries. So please don’t waste your time trying to message me or call me about this. Now is not the time, sorry.

“If you really want to know, perhaps you should you ask the Bernama Board or the Cabinet Minister(s), or those people and racial groups, including some media and news portals that hate DAP. Perhaps they know more.

“For those who don’t know me (including those who had vilified me) let me share with you this info – I have 30 years experience in journalism and communications. I have worked with Berita Harian, The Star, theSun, Straits Times Singapore, New Straits Times, and The Malaysian Insider, as well as DAP’s Rocket Publications.

“I also had a stint with the Australian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur as its media relations advisor. The last position I held was Deputy Director for Research for Social Advancement (Refsa), a progressive think tank,” he said.

Wan Hamidi added that although he had not been active in the mainstream media for the past few years, he had continued to write as a columnist for news portals Malaysiakini and The Malaysian Insight, as well as writing and editing books.

“For those who are wondering, I actually believe in free press and freedom of expression, although we know that in the Malaysian context, it’s easier said than done. But, we must never give up. We must keep on moving. So there,” he said.

Wan Hamidi was previously speculated to replace outgoing Bernama CEO Zulkefli Salleh.

Critics have said that any move to appoint Wan Hamidi would politicise Bernama, which comes under the communications and multimedia ministry headed by DAP deputy chairman Gobind Singh Deo.

Among them was former minister Rais Yatim, who said the move was also against the Pakatan Harapan government’s pledge to do away with political appointees.

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“If we appoint someone who clearly represents a political party, then we are not walking the talk,” Rais, who is now part of PPBM, had said.

Members of Bernama staff had also previously expressed concerns that Wan Hamidi’s appointment could strip the agency’s “newfound neutrality” following Pakatan Harapan’s win in the May 9 general election.