Malaysia National News Agency (Bernama) celebrated its 40th anniversary at the Grand Ballroom, Perdana Felda, Kuala Lumpur. Deputy Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak headed the guest list which included several members of the administration, elected representatives, diplomats and Bernama pioneers and staff.
The event was kicked off with a "syair" (Malay poetry) recital by Dr Zurinah Hassan and followed by Dr Firdaus Abdullah reciting a specially composed sajak (modern Malay poetry).
Bernama chairman Mohamad Anuar Zaini delivered the welcoming speech which was longer than it should have been and followed by the deputy prime minister.
The guests were later entertained by veteran crooner Datuk Yusni Hamid, a darling of VIPs including Najib, evergreen singer Rohana Jalil and Bob, a product of a reality tv show.
Ten people who had in one way or the other contributed to Bernama's progress and growth were duly honoured such as Datuk Wahab Majid (first executive editor), the late Yusof Bador (first secretary cum accountant), Tan Sri Dol Ramli (third general manager), Tan Sri Mazlan Nordin (former editor-in-chief and chairman), Ahmad Mustapha Hassan (former general manager), Musa Husain Scully (first news editor who is my sifu), Raju (first office boy/office assistant), Puan Rohana (longest serving staff) and Haji Zain (teleprinter/telex operator).
Unfortunately, Bernama's first general manager-cum-editor-in-chief the late Syed Zainal Abidin's name was left out. Syed Zainal, a gentleman loved by the staff, passed away while serving as Bernama's general manager.
The man who launched Bernama's news service on May 20th 1968, the then Information and Broadcasting Minister the late (Tan Sri) Senu Abdul Rahman's name was also left out even by the deputy prime minister who mentioned Tunku Abdul Rahman (the prime minister and the man behind the formation of Bernama) and his late father's name Tun Abdul Razak. It was an injustice to the late Tan Sri Senu who described the day he launched Bernama's service as the most happiest day in his life. Why the oversight?