Journalist union disagrees with dormant rival over 114A

PETALING JAYA (Aug 29, 2012): The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has disagreed with the stand of the Kelab Wartawan Muda Malaysia (KWMM, or Young Journalists Club) on the controversial amendments to the Evidence Act 1950.

Questions have also been raised over the validity of the club’s representation of young journalists as most working journalists were not aware of it’s existence prior to its statement supporting Section 114a of the Evidence (Amendment) (No. 2) Act 2012 issued on Monday.

The statement quoting KWMM president Dzulkarnain Taib said internet freedom if left unchecked would cause social, political and economical problems.
However, NUJ general secretary V. Anbalagan said the union, as the oldest and largest organisation representing working journalists, cannot agree with KWMM’s views.

“NUJ do not and have not supported Section 114A. In principle, we agree with the Centre for Independent Journalism and their campaign against the amendment,” Anbalagan told theSun.

Anbalagan added that while Dzulkarnain is entitled to his opinion, it does not represent the view of a majority of young journalists, most of whom are members of the NUJ.

Meanwhile, a survey by theSun on social media platform Facebook found that 46 out of 50 working journalists had never heard of the club prior to its statement on Section 114A on Monday.

However, when contacted, Dzulkarnain told theSun the club had been in existence since 2003 and was officiated by former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Badawi during the July 2005 Umno general assembly.

“We regard all journalists as members of the club. However, on the official membership roll, we have about 100, although some have left the industry,” said Dzulkarnain, who is also no longer a working journalist but is a media consultant.

When theSun pointed out that many young journalists have not heard of the club, Dzulkarnain said that its “somewhat our (the club’s) fault”.

“We are a very low-profile club. We are also not profit-orientated and we no longer have an official website, though we are planning a relaunch by the year-end,” he said.

News Source: The Sun