PETALING JAYA: National news agency, Bernama has told its staff that it is facing cash flow problems, even telling them that it was forced to skip contributions to the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to pay salaries on time, Malaysiakini reported.
The news portal quoted a senior accounts and finance manager from the government-backed company as telling staff that it had not received its grant from the Ministry of Finance.
“So we used the money (from the EPF contributions) to pay for your July salaries.
“Yes, we can make the decision to pay all your EPF contributions which means we will then not be able to pay your recent July salaries,” said Syarifah Zaini Syed Zain, as quoted by Malaysiakini.
Syarifah also said she could not promise them on their August salary or if all mandatory contributions would be up-to-date.
In its response, Bernama said all outstanding cash flow problems were resolved and that it was “working to improve its internal cash flow and financial management process.”
It said there was a rationalisation plan in place to transform Bernama into an “information powerhouse amidst a challenging media landscape”.
MOF’s national budget office director Johan Merican meanwhile said it was working closely with the communications and multimedia ministry to resolve the matter, while another ministry official said it would launch a probe as to how Bernama spent its grants.