KUALA LUMPUR (Nov 24): Senator Ras Adiba Mohd Radzi, 52, is the new chairman of Bernama, the Malaysian National News Agency, and the first woman appointed to the post in the 53-year history of the news organisation.
Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah made the announcement here today, saying she will serve for three years, effective yesterday.
Ras Adiba, who was appointed a senator in May this year, succeeds Suhaimi Sulaiman, who resigned as chairman of Bernama on Aug 6.
Petaling Jaya-born Ras Adiba is a paralympic athlete as well as president of OKU Sentral, an NGO championing the rights of persons with disabilities.
Saifuddin said the appointment of the veteran TV personality has received the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri'ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
The minister also expressed confidence that Ras Adiba would be able to take the national news agency to greater heights and improve the standard and quality of its news presentation.
“As a ‘veteran’ in the broadcasting industry, I am confident that she has the necessary experience that will help us (Bernama) in delivering news and contemporary issues.
“However, this is not all about Bernama. We hope with her appointment, all agencies under the ministry will be able to work closely together better,” he said.
Saifuddin also said Ras Adiba was capable of improving all the important elements in the dissemination of information, presentation of news and story telling in Bernama in particular and other agencies under the ministry, in general.
With over 30 years of experience in news reporting under her belt, Saifuddin is optimistic that the new chairman of Bernama will make the agency’s products more human-centred and improve the elements of analysis, solutions and execution in the news system.
“We need more human-centred news and current issues. Sometimes, the government’s (media) channel is quite dry ... we need to start to be more passionate in sending out our stories and produce more people’s stories. I think this human-centred part is where Ras Adiba will play an important role,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ras Adiba described her appointment as an honour to women and persons with disabilities (OKU), and hopes to be able to discharge the responsibilities well and work closely with all quarters.
“InsyaAllah, I will come out with more vibrant ideas, work with the existing team, and motivate ourselves to produce more high-quality news for television, radio and wires.
“This is the time for me to give back to the industry,” she said, who had been wheelchair-bound following a spinal injury sustained during a road crash in Petaling Jaya on Nov 11, 1995.
Meanwhile, Bernama editor-in-chief and acting chief executive officer (CEO) Datuk Mokhtar Hussain welcomed the appointment and congratulated Ras Adiba.
He said Ras Adiba’s experience as a TV personality will augur well for Bernama which also runs a radio station, Bernama Radio, and a television channel, Bernama TV.
“I am sure our new chairman will have fresh ideas to take Bernama to greater heights.
“We, at Bernama, look forward to working together with Ras Adiba to steer the news organisation safely through these trying times of the Covid-19 pandemic and an ever-changing media landscape,” he said.