The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) strongly criticizes the sacking of a union branch chairperson in Malaysia on October 12. The IFJ demands an immediate investigation into the dismissal by the Penang Industrial Relations Department.
On Thursday, Chua Cheong Wee, a 48-year-old journalist at Kwong Wah Yit Poh Press Berhad in Penang, northwest Malaysia, was dismissed with immediate effect on the grounds of disobeying his chief’s instructions. Chua, who had worked at the publication for 25 years, said that it was alleged that he disrespected his boss by using offensive words and shaming him in front of other staff.
Chua had been transferred from the publication’s headquarters in Penang, to the branch office in Kuala Lumpur in April this year. Chua had to stay at the National Union of Journalists, Peninsular Malaysia (NUJM) offices, as he could not afford the expensive rent in KL and the publication had only provided a minimal transfer allowance. He also had to travel to Penang at least once a week to visit his family, including two children.
Chua believes that one of the reasons he was fired is because he protested the rejection of his petition for him to be transferred back to Penang to be with his family. The rejection was recorded, and used as evidence when he was dismissed.
On Friday, October 13, Chua will file his dismissal case with the Penang Industrial Relations Department in order to claim justice.
The IFJ said: “All media workers should have a right to defend dismissals, particularly those relating to allegations of disobeying instructions and disrespect. We stand in solidarity with Chua as he fights his dismissal, and call on Kwong Wah Yit Poh Press Berhad management to release all evidence relating to his case.”
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
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