End of the road for Utusan Malaysia

End of the road for Utusan Malaysia

PUCHONG: Malay daily, Utusan Malaysia will cease its publications effective today, after being in operations for 80 years.

In a circular issued today, Utusan Melayu (M) Berhad executive chairman Dato Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzir said that the board of directors had agreed to their creditors’ voluntary liquidation proposal and has appointed UHY Advisory KL as its interim liquidator.

“Therefore, the management had decided that the staff last working day will be today, Wed (Oct 9). Your service tenure will end on Thursday (Oct 31).

“Please clear your desks and return your access cards by 1pm today. If there is a need, we will give a leeway until 6pm tomorrow. After that, only selected staff will be allowed in,” he said.

The circular was said to have been sent to 600 staffs.

Elaborating further, Aziz said that Utusan Malaysia had been undergoing financial troubles over the past few years and situation became critical since May 2018.

He added that the management had embarked on various exercises to improve its financial condition, which included offering Voluntary Separation Scheme to over 700 employees.

The company had also tried to sell its assets to acquire more funding to run its operations but the efforts were not enough to save its operations.

“The subscription for Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo kept going on a downward spiral. Our target of having a revenue of RM4 million a month from advertising had also failed to materialise.

“Hence, we had problems paying our staffs on time. In fact, we even have problems paying our creditors and debts are piling up. We are now facing legal suits filed by our creditors,” he said.

On retrenchment benefits, Aziz said the matter is subject to existing labour regulations and it would be handled by the liquidator.

“We will have a briefing with the liquidator on Oct 30. All staffs are welcomed to join. You may feel free to ask the liquidator any questions in regards to the matter,” he said.

By G Vinod