The Star honours employees for their long service

Standing strong: Recipients of the long service awards posing for a group photo with Kamal and Liong (both centre) at The Star’s 44th anniversary celebration at the Star Northern Hub in Bayan Lepas.

THE Star Media Group Bhd (formerly known as Star Publications (M) Bhd) turned 44 years old with a great birthday bash!

In Penang, which is The Star’s birthplace, the anniversary bash at the Star Northern Hub in Bayan Lepas was more of a celebration of the people who were still on their “successful first jobs”.

Many of the long service award recipients happily declared that they had remained with The Star, which was the first job they had applied for, and which would be their last.

Editorial clerk Koh Lean Hua, who joined the company as a typist on Nov 11, 1979 after leaving school, said she went to work on her first day in a trishaw from the Sia Boey bus station where Komtar is now.

“It was exciting for me because The Star was already famous in Penang by then,” she smilingly said. Koh, 56, said she had stuck with the company all these years because she had always felt as though she belonged to one big family.

“Besides, being with the press gives me the advantage of getting the news firsthand,” said Koh.

It is also the first job for senior advertisement representative Wong Mei Choo, who joined on March 5, 1984.

“My first pay cheque was just RM340, but I was so happy with it!” she said after receiving her long service award on Wednesday.

Photographer Charles Mariasoosay, 50, joined in May 1982, initially serving as office helper and messenger.

“After 12 years, I applied to be a photographer and the bosses gave me a chance. It’s a joy to be working here,” he said.

The longest serving employee is office helper and messenger Ramlan Abu Bakar, 58, who joined on Nov 1, 1975.

“I joined right after Form Five. The company has done so well from the time I joined,” Ramlan said.

Forty-one employees, who served 25 years or more, received the 25-year service award while six others received the 15-year service award.

Assistant chief photographer Goh Gaik Lee, who joined the company in 1990, said she did not expect her first job would end up being her last one as well.

Before the buffet lunch, the Penang office staff watched a live telecast of the launch of and the group’s corporate logo at the company’s headquarters in Menara Star, Kuala Lumpur, with speeches by group chairman Datuk Fu Ah Kiow and chief executive officer Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai.

After Star Media Group executive director Tan Sri Kamal Hashim and acting general manager, regional operations (north) Simone Liong handed out the long service awards, employees enjoyed the buffet lunch.

About 30 retired employees also joined in the celebration.

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