National Journalism Laureate Ahmad Rejal Arbee dies

KUALA LUMPUR, March 29: National Journalism Laureate for 2014, Datuk Ahmad Rejal Arbee Mohamed Isa Arbee, died at the age of 83 early this morning.

The passing of the veteran journalist was confirmed by his wife, Datin Noraini Shariff. 

“Innalilahi wainna ilaihi rojiun. My husband Ahmad Rejal Arbee has returned to Rahmatullah at 2 am today,” she posted on Facebook.

The remains of Ahmad Rejal would be taken to Masjid Seksyen 7 in Shah Alam, Selangor, for funeral prayers at 9.30 am before being laid to rest at Seksyen 21 Muslim cemetery.

Ahmad Rejal was the former editor-in-chief of the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and former group editor of Berita Harian.

He joined Bernama as a senior editor in 1969 before being deployed to Jakarta, Indonesia as the agency’s first overseas correspondent in 1973.

Ahmad Rejal was among the earliest media practitioners to explore the concept of bilingual media and was also among the founding team of Bernama.

Throughout his tenure at the news agency, Ahmad Rejal had served as the Head of the Political and Parliamentary Desk, and was later appointed as deputy editor and head of the Economic Service before leaving the news agency to join The New Straits Times in 1976.

However, Ahmad Rejal rejoined Bernama as the editor-in-chief in 1981 before ending his service in 1989.

He was also the chairman of the Malaysian Press Institute (MPI) from January 1984 to April 1989.

Ahmad Rejal was named the National Journalism Laureate during the MPI-Petronas Journalism Award 2014 for his outstanding contribution to the nation in the field of journalism.

Former group associate editor of The New Straits Times, the late Zainon Ahmad was given the same award posthumously.