Malaysia: Media union calls for exemption from work from home directive

The National Security Council (MKN) has issued a directive for all employees in both the public and private sectors to work from home effective Thursday, October 22 in an attempt to control the spread of Covid-19. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists Peninsular Malaysia (NUJM) to call upon the relevant authorities to allow all media personnel to carry out their duties without being detained or restrained by any roadblocks.

New restrictions have been introduced in Malaysia after a spike in Covid infections. Credit: Mohd RASFAN / AFP

While all of Malaysia is now under a recovery movement control order, certain states and territories have been placed under the stricter restrictions following a spike of Covid-19 cases.  The National Security Council (MKN) has ordered employees from Sabah, Labuan, Kuala Lumpur, Selangor and Putrajaya to reduce the number of staff allowed to go to the office to 10 per cent of the workforce.

The NUJM has issued a reminder to media personnel to be safe and cautious in carrying out their duties and to comply with the government’s standard operating procedures (SOP). If media personnel have any Covid-19 symptoms, they are advised to immediately undergo screening tests at the hospital and to comply with mandatory quarantine instructions.

Malaysia has recorded 732 new Covid-19 cases as of noon Thursday, October 21. In total, the country has 7,827 active cases with total number of fatalities is 199.

The NUJM said:Most journalists are required to cover in various areas including high risk places and in this regard, NUJM requests cooperation to be given to media personnel who have a letter of permission from their respective companies to engage with the coverage.”

The IFJ said: “IFJ stands with the NUJM to call upon the authorities to ensure the freedom of movement of media personnel to carry out their duties without restriction, particularly during a health crisis and a period of political uncertainty.”

For further information contact IFJ Asia - Pacific on ifj@ifj-asia.org

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

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