Media Moves

Malaysia’s oldest newspaper group shuts down, admitting it is penniless

August 19, 2019

Posted by Yvonne Zacharias

Malaysia’s oldest newspaper group will close Aug. 21 after a sustained period of financial uncertainty.

All publications under the Utusan Group – Utusan Malaysia, Mingguan Malaysia, Kosmo!, and Kosmo! Ahad – will cease all print and online publications.

Utusan Malaysia’s National Union of Journalists (NUJ) chief Taufek Razak said that executive chairman Datuk Abd. Aziz Sheikh Fadzir admitted that the company is now penniless.

The sad news was conveyed Aug. 19

“We were told that the company has no money left to pay the staff or operate the business any longer,” said Taufek.

The decision was made by the board of directors at a meeting earlier.

The Utusan Group has not paid its staff salaries since June. Even before this, it had repeatedly delayed salary payments.

Salaries for executive staff were also delayed for two months, with the last partial payment being paid in June.

This, despite staff cuts that reduced the payroll to 823 from 1,400 employees.

Utusan Malaysia was first published as Utusan Melayu in Jawi in 1939 in Singapore.

It was founded by Yusof Ishak, who later became the first president of Singapore, and Abdul Rahim Kajai, known as the father of Malay journalism.

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