Aziz is new executive chairman of Utusan Melayu Bhd

Group managing director Mohd Noordin Abbas says Utusan Malaysia has to consider a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) as part of its restructuring exercise.

KUALA LUMPUR: Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Bhd has appointed Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzir as its executive chairman effective today.

“Aziz is currently a director in Gold Bridge Engineering and Construction Bhd and executive chairman of Kretam Holdings Bhd,” the publishing company said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

Azizi graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Indiana University in the United States.

He was was previously a Umno MP for Kulim-Bandar Baharu.

It was reported that Utusan Melayu had on May 15 announced the voluntary resignation of its directors, including its former chairman — Mohamad Fatmi Che Salleh.

The three directors are Tengku Sariffuddin Tengku Ahmad, Jamalul Kiram Mohd Zakaria and Mohd Yusof Abu Othman.

Utusan Melayu, which publishes Utusan Malaysia, Mingguan Malaysia and Kosmo, was mired in financial difficulties before returning to profit in the third quarter ended Sept 30, 2017.

The company had suffered six consecutive quarters of losses prior to Q3 2017 and returned to profitability mainly due to the recognition of gains on the disposal of land amounting to RM31.5 million.

For the first quarter ended March 31, 2018, its losses narrowed to RM5.85 million compared with a loss of RM22.84 million in the same period in 2017. Revenue, however, rose to RM55.51 million from RM41.51 million.

Meanwhile, at its annual general meeting yesterday, group managing director Mohd Noordin Abbas said Utusan Malaysia had to consider a voluntary separation scheme (VSS) as part of its restructuring exercise.

He was reported as saying that the Malay language newspaper cannot escape the reality and that a VSS must be conducted as well as an overall cost-cutting measure.

“This is to prevent future situations where the company suffers losses amounting to millions each month,” he said.

At close today, Utusan Melayu shares fell half-a-sen to 22.5 sen with 7,500 shares transacted.