Call for MCA to intervene in the reported employee layoff plan by The Star to protect the rice bowl of 100 media practitioners

Earlier this week The Edge reported that according to industry sources, English Daily The Star which is owned by the MCA is undertaking another round of cost cutting that will involve a job rationalisation exercise. It is expected that nearly 100 employees may be laid off, most of whom are media practitioners.

I urge MCA as the biggest shareholder of Star Media Group Berhad to intervene and stop the employee layoff plan.

Star Media Group Berhad has been making profits every year for the past five years, and the total after-tax profit for the past five years from 2014 to 2018 was RM424.69 million. It is unreasonable for Star Media Group to layoff employees just because they suffer small losses due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic, which is also against the policy of Perikatan Nasional.

MCA leaders Fu Ah Kiow and Kuan Peng Soon are the Star Media Group Berhad Chairman and Deputy Chairman respectively and received handsome director remuneration fees over the years. If the Star Media Group faces financial losses, MCA leaders should further reduce the high remuneration fees of the board of directors, but the MCA-led board of directors is prepared to sacrify media practitioners by laying them off which is really shocking.

The government has provided private companies with wage subsidies to ensure that the private sector does not lay off staff to keep the people’s jobs. MCA, as a member of the ruling party, should lead by example and stop The Star Media Group’s plan to carry out the reported layoff plan.

I urged MCA to lead by example to intervene and stop the reported employee layoff plan by The Star Media Group management to protect the rice bowl of media practitioners during this difficult period.

Chong Zhemin
Media statement by Chong Zhemin in Ipoh on Friday, 19th June 2020