FARE THEE WELL … Chief executive officer of Suara Sarawak and New Sarawak Tribune Dr Jeniri Amir (right) presents a gift to chief operating officer of Suara Sarawak and New Sarawak Tribune, Rudi Affendi Khalik. This was yesterday afternoon during an office farewell and appreciation party for Rudi who is leaving the two newpapers. Looking on is chief operating officer (Administration) Saadon Zainal (centre). Photo: Ghazali Bujang

KUCHING: New Sarawak Tribune (NST) and Suara Sarawak (SS) bid their chief operating officer (COO) Rudi Affendi Khalik, 45, a fond farewell as he launches into a new endeavour.

As of Wednesday, he was appointed as head of news and current affairs of a newly set-up television station under Sarawak Media Group (SMG), which would be aired in a few months’ time.

At a farewell gathering attended by staff of NST and SS at their office here yesterday, Rudi reminisced his first assignment as a cadet reporter in 1996 — tracking a story behind a dark alley at Carpenter Street here — which drew him into the world of journalism.

“That was my first assignment as instructed by executive editor of Utusan Sarawak at the time, Dr Jeniri Amir,” he said.

He recalled that he had uncovered many human-interest stories in that narrow lane, such as stories of the lamp and pot makers. “I learned to write from there.”

He said that it was Jeniri who had taught him how to become a true journalist, describing him as his university. He added that after 26 years, it seemed that he was destined to come back to work under Jeniri again, with increasingly substantial tasks.

“Thank you Jeniri. Because of him, I moved from that narrow lane to larger highways and to where I am today,” remarked Rudi.

Jeniri is currently the chief executive officer of NST and SS.

He shared that Rudi’s assignment all those years ago in the narrow lane was aimed at testing the extent to which he explored the senses of sight, sound, smell, and taste. He said that many things could be written about as long as one knew the aspects or angle to be written.

He said that from his beginnings in the world of journalism, Rudi later led Sarawak Voice before being appointed as Editorial COO of NST and SS.

Jeniri added that after recording success in print media, it was apt for Rudi to move into a more challenging media arena — television.

“Rudi’s success is due to his perseverance, commitment, deep interest, and determination in testing and challenging his potential and talent.

“It also proves that journalism careers are not static. Instead, they are constantly growing,” he said.