KUALA LUMPUR, March 25 — After over 18 years of publication, local Chinese-language newspaper Oriental Daily is set to make a permanent transition to the online space and print its last edition on April 16, sources have confirmed today.

It was also learned that a retrenchment exercise involving at least 60 staff is expected to take place at the news outlet, which plans to transition towards being a fully online news site.

“April 16 is the last day of print. [It] will go fully digital after that.

“Around 60 staff are also expected to be retrenched,” said one source without elaborating which departments are set to suffer the worst.

Oriental Daily editor-in-chief, Ding Lee Leong, when contacted, confirmed with Malay Mail the decision to cease its print edition beyond April 16, but declined to comment further.

This comes after the paper had in April last year announced the end of its weekend edition with its print edition only on weekdays from May 1, 2020, as part of a transformation plan within the company.

Ahead of this move, Oriental Daily has since its inception managed to amass a respectable following online through its social media platforms in the past few years.

At the time of writing, its Facebook page has more than 1.73 million followers, 198,000 followers on Instagram, some 32,400 followers on Twitter, and 23,000 followers on its Telegram channel.

Oriental Daily’s first edition was printed on January 1, 2003, as a 48-page broadsheet-styled newspaper and started as the sister publication to See Hua Daily News which is available only in Sabah and Sarawak.

A total of 100,000 copies were printed for its pilot edition which was priced at RM1.20 each.

Oriental Daily is owned by the Sarawak-based timbre company, KTS Group.

Last year, leading business and financial publication The Edge Financial Daily had also published its final print edition after 13 years.

* Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article contained an error which has since been rectified.