Wong Chun Wai, the former editor-in-chief of The Star, will be made this afternoon the new chairman of Bernama, the national news agency, sources said. If I’m not mistaken, he’ll the first non-Malay to be appointed to the post. Wong has never served Bernama as a reporter but that has never been a pre-requisite; his predecessor Ras Adibah Radzi, who joined the Opposition a little too hastily (I thought) after the end of her tenure as Bernama chairman (and senator) earlier this year, was also never a Bernama employee. Chun Wai has been a journalist for about 40 years and the circumstances surrounding his appointment to Bernama had been much talked about. With his vast experience as editor and non-editorial executive of one of the most profitable newspapers in the country, Chun Wai is expected to turn Bernama into a financially self-sustainable entity, for once.
The 62-year old was not the first choice, apparently. The post had been offered to Meor Kamarulbaid Mior Shahid, the former Berita Harian editor, but they discovered that Meor was past 70 and, therefore, overaged.