IPOH, June 19 — DAP’s rep Chong Zhemin today said MCA as a member of the ruling party and the biggest shareholder of the Star Media Group, should lead by example and stop the company’s plan to layoff some of its staff.
The Keranji assemblyman pointed out that the government has provided private companies with wage subsidies to ensure that the private sector does not lay off its staff.
“I urge MCA as the biggest shareholder of Star Media Group Berhad to intervene and stop the employee layoff plan,” he said in a statement.
“MCA should lead by example to intervene and stop the reported employee layoff plan by the Star Media Group management to protect the rice bowl of media practitioners during this difficult period,” he added.
Earlier this week, The Edge reported that according to industry sources, English daily The Star, which is owned by the MCA, is undertaking another round of cost-cutting that will involve a job rationalisation exercise.
Chong said that nearly 100 employees expected to be laid off.
“Star Media Group Berhad has been making profits every year for the past five years, and the total after-tax profit for the past five years from 2014 to 2018 was RM424.69 million.
“It is unreasonable for Star Media Group to lay off employees just because they suffer small losses due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic, which is also against the policy of Perikatan Nasional,” he said.
He also pointed out that MCA leaders Fu Ah Kiow and Kuan Peng Soon are the Star Media Group Berhad chairman and deputy chairman respectively and received handsome director remuneration fees over the years.
“If the Star Media Group faces financial losses, MCA leaders should further reduce the high remuneration fees of the board of directors.
“However, shockingly the MCA-led board of directors is prepared to sacrifice the media practitioners instead,” he said.