KUCHING, The additional allocation of RM1 million to Tabung Kasih@HAWANA for the upcoming year, announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, demonstrates the MADANI government’s commitment to the welfare of journalists and media practitioners.

Malaysian Media Club Association (GKMM) president, Mohamad Fauzi Ishak, emphasised that this announcement highlights the government’s sensitivity to the challenges faced by this group.

Fauzi, who also serves as President of the Johor Media Club (KMJ), noted that the demands on journalists today are significantly different and can sometimes pose risks to their lives and health, impacting their ability to continue working.

“This allocation will have a significant positive effect on the work of media practitioners. It provides numerous benefits to the recipients, their families, and their heirs while offering motivation and relief to all media professionals,” he told Bernama.

In Negeri Sembilan, Negeri Sembilan Media Club (MANIS) chairman, Muhd Danial Amsyar A
rfi, remarked that the additional funds will enable more assistance to be extended to government and private sector media practitioners.

“I hope this allocation can benefit all media personnel. In this state, most journalists work part-time, resulting in limited income. The Tabung Kasih@HAWANA assistance can help ease their burden,” he said.

Nor Ainna Hamzah, 39, a part-time journalist, believes that the additional allocation will enable more media practitioners, both active and retired, to receive support.

“We hope even more media practitioners will benefit next year. The fund is especially vital for the part-timers affected by economic challenges.

“Information on the number of affected media practitioners can be obtained from the media clubs in each state,” she said, suggesting that special initiatives, such as annual one-off school aid, would be highly appreciated.

In Pahang, Utusan Malaysia journalist Mohamad Shofi Mat Isa hopes the allocation will be effectively utilised to support media practitione
rs in need, especially those facing financial hardships and health issues.

“Thank you to the government for listening to us. However, I hope it truly reaches the intended recipients and is fully utilised for the welfare of media practitioners,” he said.

Part-time journalist Norhafizan Zulkfili, 38, expressed that the additional allocation is highly significant for media practitioners, especially for part-timers who do not enjoy the same benefits as full-time employees.

“The income of a stringer depends on the news or photos submitted, and sometimes the news is not used, resulting in no payment. Therefore, I see this fund as very helpful for us,” said Norhafizan, who has been a part-time journalist for three years.

At the main event of the HAWANA 2024 celebration yesterday, Prime Minister Anwar announced an RM1 million allocation for the fund managed by the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) for next year.

Since its launch last year during HAWANA 2023 in Ipoh, Perak, 102 individuals have been assist
ed through Tabung Kasih@HAWANA.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency