Oriental Daily newspaper to stop printing weekend editions from May 1, to halve price to 60 sen

Oriental Daily will only be printing on weekdays from May 1 onwards. ― Picture via Facebook/ Bernama TV Chinese
Oriental Daily will only be printing on weekdays from May 1 onwards. ― Picture via Facebook/ Bernama TV Chinese

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KUALA LUMPUR, April 29 — Local Chinese-language newspaper Oriental Daily will only be printing on weekdays from May 1 onwards, and will also be reducing its newsstand price from RM1.20 to RM0.60 per copy, national news agency Bernama TV Chinese reported today.

In a Facebook post, Bernama TV Chinese attached a photograph of Oriental Daily's announcement to its readers in the newspaper today.

In Oriental Daily's brief announcement, it wrote that it would undergo a complete transformation from May 1 by only printing a condensed edition of the newspaper five days a week (Mondays to Fridays) with each copy to be sold at RM0.60, while there will be no newspaper printed on Saturdays and Sundays.

Oriental Daily currently prints a daily edition.

According to Oriental Daily's website, it was established on September 29, 2002 with Kuala Lumpur as its headquarters, and had on July 1, 2007 became the first Chinese-language daily in Malaysia to publish its newspaper in a compact size.

The website said Oriental Daily is the fastest-growing Chinese-language paper in the country with daily circulation figures of more than 146,000 copies.

Other than its physical newspapers, Oriental Daily also conveys news through SMS, its digital version of the paper or e-paper, and on its website.

Oriental Daily was established by Sarawak's KTS Group's late founder Datuk Seri Lau Hui Kang, with other publications under the group being See Hua Daily News, The Borneo Post, Utusan Borneo and The Busy Weekly, the website said.

Recently, another local Chinese-language daily, Sin Chew Daily, also announced changes to its printing amid a nationwide movement control order which started since March 18.

Sin Chew Daily, which used to print both morning and night editions of its newspaper, stopped printing physical copies of its night edition from April 1 onwards, citing various reasons that were difficult to overcome.

In an announcement on March 30, Sin Chew Daily said that would be the last day it was printing its night edition, discontinuing its practice since the 1990s of making available a night edition every day.

But Sin Chew Daily had also said it would continue to provide digital copies of its night edition newspaper or e-paper, and that it would upload the e-paper earlier at 6pm instead of 6.30pm.

On April 21, leading business and financial publication The Edge Financial Daily (FD) published its final print edition after 13 years before going fully digital from April 22, due to Malaysia’s “shift to digital news and the current lockdown of the economy because of the Covid-19 pandemic”.

Recently, Malaysia showed the greatest improvement in a 2020 global index measuring press freedom in 180 countries and regions by leaping to the 101st spot, again topping the South-east Asian or Asean region just like it did in the 2019 edition.

But local news outlets have in recent times gone through changes, including shifts to online publishing instead of printing physical copies, or ceasing of operations.

One of the oldest paper in South-east Asia — local Tamil language paper Tamil Nesan — ceased operations on February 1, 2019 after 94 years, while the company Utusan Melayu Bhd — which published the country’s oldest Malay-language daily Utusan Malaysia and paper Kosmo! — ceased operations on October 9, 2019 after a prolonged financial crisis.

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