K. Selvaraj, Bernama’s pioneer employee, dies at 75

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 27: A Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) retiree, K Selvaraj, passed away aged 75 today.

Popularly known as Raju, he was said to be the first person to be employed by Bernama when it began to establish itself from an old bungalow at Jalan Pekeliling (now Jalan Tun Razak) near the present National Library building.

Selvaraj started as an office assistant and served for 27 years (Dec 1, 1967 to Oct 15, 1994), with his last position library clerk.

According to his son-in-law, T Ganesan, Selvaraj fainted at his home in Taman Subang Baru PKNS in Shah Alam, Selangor this morning and was subsequently confirmed dead at 9.15 am.

“He did not complain of any pain or anything, just that after he had his bath this morning, he said he felt afraid and then passed out.

“His funeral will be held tomorrow at Simpang Lima, Klang,” he said today.

Former Bernama senior journalist Abd Karim Shukor, 85, recalled that Selvaraj was someone he knew well, describing him as a quiet but very helpful person whenever anyone needed assistance.

Abd Karim expressed his sadness upon learning of Selvaraj’s passing, and said that he was a credit to the agency, and there was never any negative issues associated to him throughout his time in Bernama.

“I knew him very well, he was the first batch (working with Bernama) when the Bernama office at that time was just a bungalow in Jalan Pekeliling (now known as Jalan Tun Razak), Kuala Lumpur. 

“In all the time I knew him, there was no problems with Bernama. Even though he was an office boy, everyone got to know him, we are friendly people. Senior reporters would have their packed lunches with office boys, it was commonplace as it was the culture in Bernama,” he said when contacted.