Recognising the importance of ensuring the well-being of media practitioners, Fahmi said the ministry would discuss with the Social Security Organisation (Perkeso) to expand the social safety net, especially for part-time journalists.

KUCHING: Communications and Digital Minister Fahmi Fadzil today presented contributions to media practitioner Irwan Budi Annuar, who is facing several health issues, through the Kasih@HAWANA 2023 programme.

Irwan Budi, 49, a producer at Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), suffers from kidney and lung complications and worsening eyesight.

Recognising the importance of ensuring the well-being of media practitioners, Fahmi said the ministry would discuss with the Social Security Organisation (Perkeso) to expand the social safety net, especially for part-time journalists.

“I see that more and more media organisations are using the services of part-time journalists or stringers, and if any untoward incidents occur, their safety net is not as comprehensive as full-time workers.

“So, within a week or two, we will meet with Perkeso to examine this issue,” he said when met at Irwan Budi’s residence in Petra Jaya today.

Fahmi is on a working visit to Sarawak until Sunday in conjunction with the Malaysia Day celebration, to be held at Stadium Perpaduan, Petra Jaya, on Saturday.

Having served for about 20 years at RTM, Irwan Budi said he was previously attached to RTM Limbang but was transferred to Kuching due to his declining health condition.

“Initially, I was a ‘piecemeal’ worker at RTM in 2004 before being appointed as a permanent staff in 2005. Despite my current condition, I still go to the office to work,” said the father of three children aged 15 to 19.

Fahmi was joined by Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) editor-in-chief Jamaluddin Muhammad and Broadcasting director-general Datuk Suhaimi Sulaiman.

The Kasih@HAWANA Fund, an initiative by the Communications and Digital Ministry (KKD) through Bernama, is to assist media practitioners, former media personnel and veteran journalists in need.

Regarding the proposal to host the National Journalist Day (HAWANA) 2024 in Sarawak, Fahmi said the ministry has yet to decide on the matter.

“We have not discussed it in detail because we need to complete the tasks at hand, including the Malaysia Day celebration this Saturday. We will look into it later,” he said.

Meanwhile, contributions from the Kasih@HAWANA Fund were also presented to the former sports editor of the New Sarawak Tribune, Juary Mesa, who has suffered a stroke in 2021.

The contribution was presented by the HAWANA 2023 Secretariat, who visited him at his residence in Kampung Moyan Lidang, Asajaya. -Bernama

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