Keep up with Thaiger Daily News. Sign up below.

The latest news, information and resources from Phuket and across Thailand.

* indicates required
Connect with us

News

Phnom Penh Post sold to Malaysian media investor

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

Phnom Penh Post sold to Malaysian media investor | The Thaiger

The Phnom Penh Post has been sold to Sivakumar Ganapathy, a Malaysian investor and executive at a public relations firm that has previously done work for Prime Minister Hun Sen’s government.

Sivakumar, who is the executive director of Malaysia-based Asia PR, said in a press release distributed to staff on Saturday that he intends to maintain the newspaper’s editorial independence.

Editorial staff were informed on Saturday evening that the paper was being sold by Australian mining businessman Bill Clough, who has owned the paper since 2008.

“As representative of the owners of Post Media Ltd, (the Company), which includes Phnom Penh Post and Post Khmer publications, I am pleased to announce that that the Company has been sold to Malaysian investor, Sivakumar G. (Siva),” the press release from Clough reads.

“Siva is a well respected newspaper man, with an experienced journalist background, and represents a strong investment group from Malaysia.”

The sale follows a wrongful termination suit brought by a former CEO and a $3.9 million tax bill levelled by the General Department of Taxation (GDT), which had caused some observers – over the objections of The Post’s management – to compare the situation to the Cambodia Daily.

That publication, the only other independent newspaper in the country, was shuttered after receiving a $6.3 million tax bill in September.

The tax bill had been settled as part of the sale, according to Clough, who thanked the GDT for their professionalism in his press release. Details of the settlement were not given.

No contact information for Sivakumar was provided in the press release, and messages to his Facebook and email accounts went unanswered on Sunday. Calls and emails to Asia PR also went unanswered.

Asia PR’s past clients include “Cambodia and Hun Sen’s entry into the Government seat”, according to their website. They have also represented KFC Holdings Berhad, a branch of the popular fried chicken chain that launched in Cambodia by partnering with politically connected tycoon Kith Meng.

According to Asia PR’s “Track Record” web page, the firm oversaw a signing ceremony that involved Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and then-co-Prime Ministers Hun Sen and Norodom Ranariddh.

In the press release from Sivakumar released on Sunday, the new ownership said it was “fully committed to upholding the paper’s 26 year old legacy and editorial principles/independence without infringing any relevant laws and regulations of the Kingdom of Cambodia”.

Phnom Penh Post sold to Malaysian media investor | News by The Thaiger

Ed Legaspi, executive director at the Southeast Asia Press Alliance (SEAPA), said it was worrisome that The Post’s new owners appeared to be linked to both the Malaysian and Cambodian governments.

“Although ordinarily sales shouldn’t affect editorial policy, we are quite worried this is happening to the Phnom Penh Post,” Legaspi said, adding he thought it was “highly likely” that the ownership would try to affect editorial independence.

“Malaysian media and media owners are not known for independence,” he said.

“The thing to do is for editors to maintain their independence and continue to do the work that you do.

“According to Legaspi, any improper influence over editorial policies at the Phnom Penh Post would be disastrous for the country’s independent media scene.

“We are thinking [The Post] is the last independent outlet in Cambodia,” he said, adding that any editorial influence from the new owners “would really be the death of press freedom in Cambodia”.

Sivakumar studied journalism at university and was also previously the chief operating officer and editor in chief of Malaysian newspaper Eastern Times News, according to his LinkedIn page.

The newspaper was widely viewed to be close to the Sarawak state’s Chief Minister Abdul Taib Mahmud. The Post’s new owner also wrote two books on the life of Taib, including an 650-page authorised biography about the longtime head of Sarawak state titled Taib – The Visionary.

Environmental groups have estimated that Sarawak has lost up to 90 percent of its forest cover under Taib’s tenure. The state leader was described in leaked, classified cables by the United States government as “highly corrupt” and was similarly criticised by Global Witness. A Swiss-based NGO released a lengthy report last year accusing Taib and his family of laundering up to $77 million in Ontario’s property sector. Taib has denied all charges.

Asia PR previously ran the pro-government Cambodia Times newspaper for several years in the Kingdom in the early 1990s. Three separate reports from the 1990s, including one in the Phnom Penh Post, identify NagaCorp CEO Chen Lip Keong as the owner of the Cambodia Times.

An email to two NagaCorp marketing officers asking about the ownership of the Cambodia Times went unanswered on Sunday.The editor in chief of the Cambodia Times was Kamaralzaman Tambu, who was also named as the managing director of Asia PR in a 1995 article in Asian Business. However, Sivakumar did not begin working with Asia PR until 2010, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Phnom Penh Post sold to Malaysian media investor | News by The Thaiger

SOURCE: The Nation

 

Thailand's fastest growing portal for news and information, in association with The Nation.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Thailand

Thaiger Radio News – Monday

The Thaiger

Published

on

Thaiger Radio News – Monday | The Thaiger

Listen to the daily news from The Thaiger, anytime, anywhere…

 

Continue Reading

Phuket

Phuket’s multi-tasking bus driver fined

The Thaiger

Published

on

Phuket’s multi-tasking bus driver fined | The Thaiger

The Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO) has fined the Phuket to Songkhla bus driver who, on Saturday, was captured on video, whilst responsible for a bus full of passengers, with his son sitting on his lap and making, what appears to be, live video chat calls.

Read more about the incident HERE. (The original story says the bus was travelling to Phattalung. The bus was actually going to Songkhla but was registered in Phattalung)

The PLTO Officer Prapai Suankun says, “We have questioned the bus driver who has been named as 45 year old Surachai Reabroi.”

“The bus headed off from the Phuket Bus Terminal on Friday night. The bus driver told us that he teaches his seven year old son to drive the bus but he has still has control of the steering wheel along the way.”

“He dropped his son in Phang Nga and then continued on the drive. The bus arrived at its destination at Dan Nok in Songkhla. He had driven 60-70 kilometres during the journey.”

“Surachai has been fined 5,000 baht. His driving license has been suspended for one month. We are also paying more attention to ensure the road safety of public vehicle drivers.”

You can watch the original video posted HERE.

Continue Reading

Thailand

Search on for person who tried to drown puppies

The Thaiger & The Nation

Published

on

Search on for person who tried to drown puppies | The Thaiger

“Paitoon, accompanied by many, also made merit for the deceased pups.”

by Saichon Srinuanjan

Authorities suspect somebody may tried to drown seven puppies and succeeded in killing five of them in Ratchaburi’s city district, west of Bangkok.

Two puppies from the litter were found wet, but alive, though five other likely siblings were found at the same spot but lifeless.

“We will ask police to investigate. If the intentional drowning is confirmed, the person responsible for this act shall be held responsible under the law against animal cruelty,” said Tambon Nampu Administrative Organisation’s chief executive Paitoon Pattana.

He said this as he took the five little bodies to Thung Tan Temple for cremation. The temple has a crematorium especially for dogs.

Paitoon, accompanied by many, also made merit for the deceased pups.

Search on for person who tried to drown puppies | News by The Thaiger

STORY: The Nation

Continue Reading

The Thaiger Newsletter

Keep up with all the day’s news. Subscribe here.

The latest news and information from Thailand.

* indicates required

Trending