PUTRAJAYA: Lembah Pantai Member of Parliament Nurul Izzah has applied for a publishing permit from the Home Ministry for a new weekly newspaper.
Nurul Izzah, who is Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s daughter, said the Malay-language publication would be titled Utusan Rakyat and she promised it would be bipartisan and fair in its reporting.
She said the editorial advisory board helmed by herself and Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan would name National Union of Journalist president Hata Wahari as its founding editor when it receives its publishing permit.
Nurul Izzah also stressed that the weekly would not be a Pakatan Rakyat organ but would take into account the opinions of all parties.
“This can be done under the editorial advisory board’s leadership who can give an overall view of current issues,” she told reporters after applying for the permit under Hata’s name on Friday.
Hata is currently facing a domestic inquiry by his employer Utusan Malaysia which had suspended the senior journalist for allegedly tarnishing the publication’s name.
Nurul Izzah said she and Ambiga would be joined later by other members of civil society.
She added that several Barisan Nasional leaders had also given their support for the new publication.
She mentioned Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as one Barisan MP who had been officially invited to serve on the board.
“Utusan Rakyat is ready to work with all parties without looking at political leanings as long as they allow for democracy and freedom of the media in Malaysia,” she said.
She hoped that the new newspaper would help Malaysians approach current issues in a mature, rational and independent mindset.
Nurul Izzah’s political secretary Fahmi Fadzil said the publication was expected to have 24 pages of reports on general news, entertainment and sports.