Oldest newspaper pushed the envelope

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Lembah Pantai MP Fahmi Fadzil

“I think definitely the tactile feeling of papers is very important to me. I feel sad hearing this, it is one of the oldest papers in the country and to see it disappear is a big blow to the print industry. It is a big blow to news and media. And I think this should be a bellwether and a harbinger of things to come.

I think it is a business model that has to be tested. I do not know whether the Malaysian market itself is big enough to support a completely digital media service. But I think if we started out with Malaysia and looked at something more regional, maybe that might be suitable. But I am a little bit worried about the business model because we see that it is very tough market conditions.”

Umno secretary-general and Ketereh MP Tan Sri Annuar Musa

“Well I think for most media including Malay Mail, to go fully digital is a sound business move. As you know things are different now, so it is only wise for publication houses and also media players to make adjustments. Similarly moves to go fully digital ought to be seen from a solely commercial point, and not as a political move as some may view it.

Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin

“Memories of Malay Mail for me, they used to have this Malay Mail Beauty section on the front page. I used to read that when I was growing up.”

Klang MP Charles Santiago

“I recall Malay Mail at one time playing an important role in breaking news for the evening, particularly for sports. We would look forward to it. But then the competition got really stiff between all the different players. The rise of online news also had an impact on (print) readership.

“The Malay Mail newspaper has served its purpose, but now the environment is determined by the digital media. 24/7 kind of news. There is no choice, you have to move at some point. Not many people these days have the time and energy to sit and read newspapers, have tea and coffee. People are running around and checking their news updates (on devices) And the news format now is no longer long articles. Looking at online news it tends to be far shorter, so readers are less interested in the traditional forms now.

Subang MP Wong Chen

“In the previous government, Malay Mail actually pushed the envelope to report more independently. So that is a good thing. It is sad to see Malay Mail going out of print circulation. I remember most clearly that the Malay Mail, despite being pro-government for many years, they started to report more independently around two years ago. I found that very refreshing, they had a new attitude and new approach.

Well I think the print business is under tremendous stress, and the media business is also consolidating. So I am not sure what Malay Mail management’s position is, but I think it is really motivated by dollars and cents. Unless they can get into a model of subscription, I think print media will face a great deal over the coming years.”

Padang Renggas MP Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz

“I’m sad, really sad because I think Malay Mail is the oldest paper (in the country). And when I was much younger I used to enjoy Malay Mail because it is an afternoon paper. And even then it was already a tabloid and at the end (I remember) there was competition, like crossword puzzles. And I have fond memories, especially sports – Fauzi Omar – and some other reporters. So I’m really sad that it is closing down.

If it was a morning paper, what happened the night (before) it won’t be reported. Because it was an afternoon (paper) the sports results were out and we could get the latest results from the Malay Mail. Back then there was no digital (paper).

Well I think the paper has always been a Malaysian paper. It reports had no racial slant towards certain communities. It has always been a paper that I would say was non-conventional paper because News Straits Times and others were mainstream paper. The Malay Mail had its independence and it had its own niche and of course then it was very important (to have a niche). But nowadays papers are different, they are free now. But I think the Malay Mail was above Utusan or NST back then. I’m going to miss it.”