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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 12, 2014:

A DAP Member of Parliament today called for the government to step in to resolve the Bernama TV (BTV) salary fiasco.

Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching, in a statement, urged the Human Resources Ministry and the Communication and Multimedia Ministry to ensure that the staff of the TV channel receive their salaries.

“Section 19(1) of the Employment Act 1955 makes it compulsory for employers to pay their employees wages not later than the seventh day after the last day of any wage period.

“Therefore, all the directors, managers or other similar officers of BTV have committed an offence under the Employment Act, and upon conviction, they can be fined not exceeding RM10,000,” said Teoh, who is also DAP assistant publicity secretary.

On Tuesday, employees of BTV only received a partial payment of RM500 after the management admitted not having enough funds to pay its workers.

Teo said while BTV is a private company, Bernama Berhad — the Malaysian national news agency — owns a third of shares in the station.

“It is a shame that a statutory body is now involved in exploiting its staff.”

Teoh revealed that Bernama TV Synergy Sdn Bhd, which was formed in 2008, had never filed its annual returns and audited financial reports to the Companies Commission of Malaysia (CCM).

“This is clearly a breach of Section 169 of the Companies Act 1965, which is punishable with imprisonment of 5 years or RM30,000 fine.

“The question is, did CCM take action against BTV and its directors?”

Teo said records extracted from CCM also showed that Umno Gunung Jerai division head Senator Datuk Mohd Suhaimi Abdullah was one of the directors and shareholders of Bernama TV Synergy Sdn Bhd.

“So not only is a statutory body involved, but a senator is also part of those who oppress the staff of BTV.

“And if no action has been taken by CCM and Ministry of Human Resources, is it because of the influence and involvement of Mohd Suhaimi?”

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