KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 10): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today some employees of newspaper publisher Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd, which ceased operations yesterday, will be rehired by a new media group.

Mahathir dubbed the media group as the "new" Utusan, which will rehire Utusan Melayu employees, who will be retrenched at the end of this month.

"Some of them (Utusan Melayu staff) will be taken over by the new Utusan," Mahathir told reporters here today on the sidelines of the 10th International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition & Conference Malaysia (IGEM) 2019.

He did not elaborate.

The premier was responding to queries by reporters on Utusan Melayu employees' fate ahead of their retrenchment on Oct 31 after the cessation of operations at Utusan Melayu, which publishes the Utusan Malaysia and Kosmo! newspapers.

Yesterday, theedgemarkets.com citing Utusan Melayu's circular to employees, reported that the company ceased operations yesterday (Oct 9).

According to the circular, signed by Utusan Melayu executive chairman Datuk Abd Aziz Sheikh Fadzir, the company had undergone its most critical period in its 80-year history and business conditions had deteriorated after May 2018.

It was reported that Utusan Melayu said the final working day for employees was yesterday while their employment would end on Oct 31 this year.

When contacted by theedgemarkets.com yesterday, Abd Aziz, however, said Utusan Malaysia "will live on".

"We are liquidating the holding company (Utusan Melayu) but the ownership of the printing licences (has) been acquired by Aurora Mulia and they will relaunch publications in the near future," Abd Aziz said.

It was reported that Aurora Mulia is linked to businessman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar AlBukhary and has recently surfaced in Media Prima Bhd, with its shareholding in the latter amounting to 31.22%.

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