The Communications and Multimedia Ministry will always ensure the welfare of the media staff of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), including contract and part-time employees, said Minister Gobind Singh Deo.
He said the ministry will discuss with Bernama and RTM to determine the best method to make available facilities for contract and part-time staff.
It includes looking at facilities such as insurance and subscription to the Social Security Organisation (Socso) and the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) as these staff are vulnerable to risks when they are on duty in the field, he said.
“I have received feedback that they are exposed to risks when covering news. We have to understand that they have to be outdoors round the clock at times, going to certain places very early in the morning. This is a safety issue that the ministry has to take note of, on how we can improve safety and related matters.
“This problem has existed for a long time but there has been no effort yet to address it. I will have discussions with RTM and Bernama on the matter so that we can find a solution,” he told reporters after a visit to the Johor Department of Broadcasting and the Johor Information Department in Johor Bahru.
Gobind was responding to a question on the welfare of part-time journalists who also face the same risks as the full-time and permanent media staff.
Earlier, the minister toured the Johor Broadcasting Department office for more than an hour and also visited the Johor Information Department and addressed the RTM staff.
He also attended a briefing on the Bernama operations in Johor given by Johor bureau chief Nor Baizura Basri and the operations of the Johor Broadcasting Department given by Johor director of broadcasting Abdull Hadi Yusof.
Gobind also went on air on the Program Permata Johor FM at the Johor Broadcasting Department.
Accompanying the minister was the deputy director-general (strategic broadcasting) of the Department of Broadcasting, Abdul Muis Shefii, who is discharging the duties of the director-general of broadcasting, and the Johor director of information Zainudin Ismail.