Tok Mat welcomes return of Utusan Malaysia, calls for daily to be independent platform for all Malaysians

Copies of the Utusan Malaysia newspaper at a stall in Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur December 22, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Copies of the Utusan Malaysia newspaper at a stall in Sungai Besi, Kuala Lumpur December 22, 2018. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, July 20 — Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan today welcomed the return of news daily Utusan Malaysia after a 10-month hiatus.

In a Facebook posting today, Mohamad also reminded Utusan Malaysia to return to its founding ideals of credible journalism and providing a voice to the Malay community.

However, Mohamad also urged the news daily to adopt modern practices and also provide a fair platform to all in multicultural Malaysia.

“Yusuf Ishak and Rahim Kajai founded Utusan Malaysia as an independent and fearless voice to represent the conscience and mindset of the Malays. It was never founded to be the mouthpiece of any political party. Thus, Utusan Malaysia with its resurgence must return to the founding ideal of its establishment, namely credible journalism. That is the best way forward for them,’’ he said.

Utusan [Malaysia] must be a pillar of democracy by performing the function of checks and balances more radically and constructively. It must report the truth no matter what the price. And it must be the trigger for new thinking, precise and authentic analysis, as well as enlightenment to various national and international crises.\

“However, Utusan [Malaysia’s] responsibility is not only to be the spokesperson of the Malays. Utusan [Malaysia] must balance its role in a plural Malaysia,’’ he added.

In his posting, Mohamad again stressed to the Malay daily and its new administration the importance of upholding high journalistic standards.

“To all Utusan Malaysia employees and their top management, you all have only one choice. That is to do the work of journalism that is genuine, true, sincere and credible,’’ he said

Utusan Malaysia along with its sister publication which ceased publication last year returned to publication in July, under a new publisher, Media Mulia Sdn Bhd.

Aurora Mulia, the company linked to tycoon Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Albukhary, has major stakes in both Media Prima Berhad and Media Mulia.

Utusan Malaysia was forced to close its doors after 80 years on October 9, 2019, after facing many years of financial crisis which even led to workers’ protests over unpaid wages.

Utusan Malaysia began operating before Malaysia’s independence in 1939.

It was first published as Utusan Melayu, using the Jawi medium, before the current Romanised version began publication on September 1, 1967.

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