KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 18 — The renewal of the News Exchange and Cooperation Agreement between the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and China’s Xinhua News Agency today is crucial as it is also a starting point for Bernama to establish closer relationships and a broader news network with other news agencies in the Southeast Asian region.

Communications Minister Fahmi Fadzil said that this is especially important in the context of Malaysia assuming the chairmanship of ASEAN in 2025.

“I see Bernama playing a crucial role not only in the context of the agreement signed today but also in another context, which is next year (2024) before we assume ASEAN chair in 2025. 

“So, in the context of what was signed today, I see Bernama also playing a crucial role in enhancing the relationship between Malaysia through Bernama itself with other agencies in the Southeast Asian region,” he told reporters after witnessing the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) between Bernama and Xinhua here today. 

The MoA was signed by Bernama Editor-in-Chief Nur-ul Afida Kamaludin who is also assuming the duties of Bernama chief executive officer, and Xinhua Director for Asia-Pacific Regional Bureau Wang Jinfu.

Present were the Chinese Embassy’s Minister in Malaysia Zheng Xuefang, the Communications Ministry Deputy Secretary-General (Strategic Communication and Creative Industry) Nik Kamaruzaman Nik Husin, Bernama chairman Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai and Xinhua’s vice-president Zhu Haili.

Meanwhile, Fahmi said that the renewal of the agreement is also seen as a symbol of the strengthened collaboration between the two significant news agencies in line with the 50th anniversary of Malaysia-China diplomatic relations next year.

“…because we remember 50 years ago, (Malaysia’s second Prime Minister) the late Tun Abdul Razak paved the way by initiating diplomatic relations with China. So, with the signing of the agreement today, for me, it is indeed the right time as we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Malaysia and China relations,” he said.

Fahmi also expressed hope that with the renewal of the agreement, more accurate news exchanges and sharing could take place between the two countries.

“With the agreement today, news information can be channelled not only from Malaysia to China but also from China to Malaysia accurately. And if there are issues, they can be resolved promptly,” he said.

The collaboration between Bernama and Xinhua began on Dec 14, 1985, with the signing of the first MoA for news exchange in Kuala Lumpur.

Since then, the collaboration between these two news agencies has continued to evolve, providing balanced and fair coverage of international developments not only in Malaysia and China but also around the world.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here