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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sacked Utusan journalist to launch Harian Malaysia August 1


July 31, 2011

Hata said today that Harian Malaysia’s focus will be community issues. — file pic
KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 — Former journalists’ union chairman Mohd Hata Wahari will launch theHarian Malaysiaonline newspaper tomorrow, months after being fired fromUtusan Malaysia for criticising the Umno-owned daily.

Hata told The Malaysian Insider that the Malay-language website with the motto “Ethical and Responsible” will focus mostly on community-based issues with a light political slant only despite having editorial advisers such as PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar, Umno’s Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah and Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan.

“We will focus on the people’s problems and even if there is politics, it will be kept to a minimum. We want to focus on grassroots issues and we will expose them.

“We know what most of the problems faced by people out there are. I have worked for many years at Utusan Malaysia and I know what is going on,” he said.

Hata, who recently quit his post as National Union of Journalists (NUJ) chief, worked forUtusan Malaysia from 1995 until he was sacked on April 21 for criticising the Umno-owned Malay daily’s editorial direction.

“The mainstream media is not honest and often tries to conceal what has happened. This is why we want to expose these issues,” said Hata, who will assume the post of chief editor of the portal.

He added that Harian Malaysia will have journalists posted in every state across the country to ensure wider coverage.

“We will also be asking our advisers to write for Harian Malaysia,” he said.

Hata explained that Harian Malaysia will be subscription-based and readers can choose to pay RM10 for one month, RM60 for six months or RM120 for a year.

For the time being however, readers can access the site for free.

“Yes, we will be free in the interim ... perhaps for about six months to a year. Then we will start subscriptions,” he said, adding that the project is a family business.

Hata also said that the Harian Malaysia portal on www.harianmalaysia.my had already kicked off on July 1 but merely as a basic framework of the paper.

“Now, we are getting the electronic newspaper ready and it will be launched officially on August 1, together with our official portal,” he said.

The Harian Malaysia portal will be updated daily while its electronic newspaper will be updated weekly.

“For now, we will have an e-paper because we have not received a printing permit,” he said.

Hata will be helped by Mohd Laile Wahari in the capacity of the paper’s Editor (Management) and Mohd Shawal Wahari as its Editor (Editorial).

Like other newspapers, Harian Malaysia will feature sections dedicated to politics, current affairs, views and columns, community, interviews, issues, entertainment and sports.

There will also be a special column called “Awang Sulung” that will discuss current issues.

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