Media community pays tribute to late Ahmad Rejal for years of dedication

KUALA LUMPUR: Members of the media industry came together on Friday (March 29) to show their appreciation and respect for the late Datuk Ahmad Rejal Arbee Mohamed Isa Arbee for his lifelong commitment and contributions to the field of journalism.

Ahmad Rejal, 83, who was named the recipient of the National Journalism Laureate for 2014, passed away early Friday.

Ahmad Rejal was the former editor-in-chief of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and former group editor of Berita Harian.

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Bernama chairman and SMG advisor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai expressed sadness at Ahmad Rejal's demise, noting that he had the privilege and honour of knowing him personally as well as working with him.

"As someone older than me, I looked up to him," he said, adding that Ahmad Rejal's contributions to journalism, especially to Bernama, will be remembered and recognised.

Former Bernama chairman and editor-in-chief Datuk Seri Azman Ujang said Ahmad Rejal had left behind immense footprints in Malaysian journalism and the media.

"His professionalism should be a lasting legacy for current and future media practitioners, especially for reporters and journalists at large," he said.

Ahmad Rejal began his career in journalism as a cadet reporter with Berita Harian in 1963 before joining Bernama as a senior reporter in 1969.

He was then deployed to Jakarta, Indonesia as the agency’s first overseas correspondent in 1973.

Ahmad Rejal was among the earliest media practitioners to explore the concept of bilingual media and was also among the founding team of Bernama.

Throughout his tenure at the news agency, Ahmad Rejal had served as the head of the political and parliamentary desk and was later appointed as deputy editor and head of the economic service before leaving the news agency to join the New Straits Times in 1976.

Ahmad Rejal rejoined Bernama as the editor-in-chief in 1981 before ending his service in 1989.

He was The Sun editor-in-chief from 1996 until 1997 before joining Berita Harian as group editor from July 1998 until July 2003.

The veteran journalist had also served as the secretary-general of the Organisation of Asia-Pacific News Agencies (OANA) and chairman of the Malaysian Press Institute. - Bernama

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