Umno man smells cronyism in Khalid’s new free weekly

Khalid Samad at the launch of WilayahKu, a new weekly to be distributed free in Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur and Labuan. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: An Umno division leader in Kuala Lumpur has accused the federal territories minister of practising cronyism in the publication of a newspaper to cater to city folks.

Seputeh Umno vice-chief Razlan Rafii

Seputeh Umno vice-chief Mohd Razlan Rafii also questioned the timing of the “WilayahKu” weekly newspaper, published by Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan, a welfare organisation which comes under the Federal Territories Ministry.

Razlan said the move was not only against Putrajaya’s call for austerity, but also showed that the government was stuck in an outdated mode to reach the masses.

“In a city, people prefer to read online news, yet the minister launched a paper,” Razlan told FMT.

In launching the paper yesterday, Federal Territories Minister Khalid Samad said WilayahKu would act as medium between the government and the people living in Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya and Labuan, the three cities with federal territory status.

The paper’s chief editor is Zulkifli Sulong, who is also Khalid’s press secretary.

Zulkifli was previously the editor-in-chief of PAS mouthpiece Harakah, before he was tasked with running Amanah’s online portal Malaysian Dateline.

Razlan, who previously headed the Federal Territories Umno Youth, urged Khalid to reveal the cost of printing the free weekly.

“What’s the purpose of publishing the weekly? Is it to take care of cronies and waste Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan’s funds?” he asked.

Razlan said Khalid should instead hire a good consultant to advise him on initiatives to improve the cities under his ministry’s jurisdiction.