KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — It's been a long run. 122 years (or 14 days short of that, to be precise). But Malay Mail, the country's oldest English newspaper, ceases to be that today.
Malay Mail continues, of course, as an online news portal — the medium of choice for readers today.
Ultimately, our decision to stop print operations was dictated by how the market has changed.
Readers today access the news on desktops, laptops, tablets and on their mobile phones. And Malay Mail, which started in 1896 as a four-page newspaper for the Malay peninsula, will now continue solely online.
So, this is in no way farewell. Think of it as a change of address to be closer to our readers, instead.
To mark this momentous moment, we have also prepared a special commemorative issue for today.
We hope you will purchase a copy at newsstands and join us for a look back at our heydays in print and how we reported on the colony that was Malaya, through two World Wars, the Emergency, the birth of a new nation right up to “Malaysia Baharu” when Malaysians voted in a new ruling government for the first time in 61 years.
While the newspaper has been around for 122 years, most Malaysians who still know Malay Mail remember it as an afternoon tabloid serving the Klang Valley.
Before we had this thing called the Internet, readers in the Klang Valley would pick up the newspaper at lunch and catch up on the latest news not covered in the morning papers.
Over the years, however, the commercial pressure brought about by more competition and the rise of the Internet has seen the newspaper change hands many times and its circulation dwindle.
In 2013, the current owners of Malay Mail decided to invest fully in our online news operation and cater to the changing habits of the public.
For many of us journalists who started our careers in newspapers, it is a sentimental goodbye.
To readers who still prefer a physical newspaper, the days of ink-stained hands when reading Malay Mail are well and truly over.
But we are not dead. Far from it. The print edition was simply a medium with which we could deliver the news before.
The medium of choice today is the Internet. And that's where we reside fully now.
Yesterday, at 9.15pm our printing presses stopped. For the last time. Full stop.
What will not stop, however, is our full effort to deliver all the news that matters to you, our readers.