KUALA LUMPUR: A special allocation of RM5 million for National Journalists Day (Hawana) under Budget 2024 is seen as the government’s appreciation of all media practitioners in the country, said a member of Parliament.
Syahredzan Johan (PH-Bangi) said he hoped the allocation for Hawana is not only for celebration but for matters of greater significance such as discussions on the future direction of the media as well as assistance for veteran journalists in need and others.
"I welcome the RM5 million allocation for Hawana next year. I know Hawana is not new, as it has been celebrated this year too. But the special allocation to me shows the government appreciates media practitioners in the country," he said.
He was debating on the Supply Bill 2024 at committee stage for the Communications and Digital Ministry at Dewan Rakyat on Wednesday (Nov 22).
May 29 has been gazetted as National Journalists Day to mark the publication of the first edition of Utusan Melayu on May 29, 1939.
This year's Hawana celebration was organised by the ministry with its implementation handled by the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama).
Meanwhile, R. Yuneswaran (PH-Segamat) said the allocation to Bernama and the Broadcasting Department (RTM) was appropriate to empower the delivery of government policies in various languages through the channels concerned.
He said besides focusing efforts on reforming the broadcasting quality of RTM and Bernama in various aspects including the quality of production, RTM and Bernama should be the two main broadcasting platforms of the Madani government that have credibility in delivering news in various languages including Tamil.
"The important thing is to ensure that whatever goals and latest developments regarding the policies and actions of the Unity Government can be communicated effectively to the community of various races.
"This includes rural communities that have problems subscribing to paid private broadcasting platforms such as Astro, and therefore the government should give all the attention and allocation to RTM and Bernama for the government," he said. –Bernama