Executives at The Sun newspaper in Malaysia seem to have forgotten the first rule in journalism -- check your facts. On Friday evening, the newspaper put out a radio advertisement for its Saturday edition with the exhortation for readers to find out about the shock resignation of Sime Darby's group chief executive, Tan Sri Nik Mohammed Yaacob. Trouble was, he had not resigned.
What he had done was resign from the company's audit committee and sent the appropriate forms to the KLSE. Under the filing he had indicated that he was resigning from the committee but was still very much staying with the company. In a subsequent release, Sime Darby announced that in accordance with best corporate governance practices, Tan Sri Nik did not feel it appropriate that the CEO should be on the audit committee and so had resigned his position.
It seems that The Sun journalists did not get much further than the word 'resign' before the word 'scoop' started flashing in their eyes. Needless to say, readers of the Saturday edition found no trace of the advertised article. It is unclear what action Sime Darby intends to take.