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Newsreader Alleges Mistreatment Of Staff At Bernama While Denying Accusations Against Her

Sydney Yap was accused of staying silent about the issues during her employment at Bernama.

Cover image via 葉詩妮 XINI (Facebook) & Free Malaysia Today

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A Bernama TV Mandarin newsreader, Sydney Yap Xi Ni, was threatened with legal action over her claims of the company's mistreatment of its employees

In a Facebook post earlier today, 12 August, Yap shared how she and her colleagues did not receive fair treatment from Bernama.

In the post, she detailed that between 2019 and 2022, seven media staff members resigned from Bernama's Chinese newsgroup, leaving only three staff members in the production team. This led to a reduction in airtime from seven days a week to five days a week.

Not only that, the staff were promised annual increments but instead received pay cuts, Yap alleged. She also said that any allowances offered to staff were absorbed by their basic salary. For instance, employees were entitled to a RM300 living allowance. However, their basic salary was reduced by RM300 to offset the cost of the allowance.

Sydney Yap Xi Ni.

Image via 葉詩妮 XINI (Facebook)

Bernama has refuted all allegations that the company mistreats its staff

According to Bernama, chief executive officer (CEO) Roslan Ariffin said that Yap had received regular annual increments in her salary plus allowances during her three years and seven months of service at Bernama.

He also claims that no other staff had complained about any mistreatment or cuts in their salaries, including Yap herself.

"Until today, there were no complaints relating to salary or ill-treatment made by any former or existing staff of the Mandarin News Production Desk," Roslan said.

Bernama CEO Roslan Ariffin.

Image via Malaysiapost

Roslan also claimed that no formal decision was made to take legal action against Yap

Roslan said that talks of legal action against the newsreader were purely an internal discussion and a recommendation from Bernama's Human Resource (HR) department. He said that Bernama will not pursue legal action against Yap.

However, Yap claims she does not think this is the case.

She detailed in her Facebook post that, because of the sensitivity of the issue, legal documents and internal reports should have been kept private and confidential. She went on to question the real reason why a report regarding the internal affairs of an employee could be leaked to news sources.

Yap also conveyed her dissatisfaction with Roslan's response to her complaints against Bernama. 

"I express my deep disappointment at this response, as this leader believes that I was wrong in bringing up the lack of employee benefits. I stress again that this is not the first time I have raised relevant issues. The problems I have reflected are my real experience as an employee," she wrote in her Facebook post. 

Yap reported that she has even written to Bernama president Ras Adiba Radzi about these issues. Therefore, Roslan's statement about her never bringing up complaints like these, was false, she claimed.

Bernama president Ras Adiba Radzi.

Image via Free Malaysia Today

Yap's post and story have mostly received support and positivity from netizens, encouraging her to continue speaking out

"If you are right, you should insist on it. You must have principles and standpoints. As a former media person, you can only cheer for you, be strong," a person wrote.

"I support you with all my heart, evil cannot prevail," another user said.

"Stand firm in your principles, and don't be afraid of power" another person encouraged.

Image via Facebook

Back in 2020, hospital workers spoke out against their mistreatment at work, only to be arrested for protesting:

This isn't the first time Bernama has found itself in hot water:

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