Utusan Malaysia Newspaper Malaysia

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Utusan Malaysia Newspaper Malaysia¬† (literally translated from Malay to English as the “Malaysian Courier”) (another sister newspaper known as Utusan Melayu published in Jawi script ceased publication in January 2006) is a Malay language newspaper in Malaysia. It is notorious for being extremely partisan in favour of the ruling party, the United Malays National Organisation, and for its consequently one-sided, skewed reporting on national events.

Utusan Malaysia started publication on 1967, being a romanised version for Utusan Melayu and daily edition of Mingguan Malaysia. Mingguan Malaysia published 2 years earlier on 1965.

In 1997, the Group made its entry into the world of multimedia with the launch of “Utusan Malaysia On-Line”, Malaysia’s first Online Newspaper in full text and visuals. The service provided, in collaboration with Telekom Malaysia, enables pay-subscribers to read exact replicas of the Group’s newspapers, including Utusan Malaysia. On July 2, 2001, “Utusan Education Portal” (Portal Pendidikan Utusan) was launched. The free service has received recognition from MIMOS (the “Malaysian Institute of Microelectronic Systems”) as one of the top five education websites in Malaysia in 2001. Utusan had also won the “IFRA Publish Asia 2003 Award” for the “Best in Print” category on March 20, 2002. It was the first award to be won by the newspaper at the international level.

Utusan Malaysia’s credibility as a newspaper has come under fire from many circles for its blatant practice of double standards in its reporting, especially with regard to politically related news.Statements by Chief Ministers in Opposition-held states have been taken out of context, manipulated, or otherwise downright fabricated.

Of late, Utusan has also stoked racist sentiments with provocative headlines championing the New Economic Policy and Ketuanan Melayu.

In view of Utusan’s extreme racist rhetoric, the former Opposition-led Perak state government staged a boycott against the newspaper, with other Opposition states following suit. A motion was also set by the Selangor state government to boycott Utusan while all Selangor state agencies and departments were told to refrain from buying the newspaper and to stop advertising in the newspaper, in a move to protest a short story titled “Politik Baru YB J” by columnist Datuk Chamil Wariya that appeared in the paper and depicted an assassination of a fictional character that portrayed Teresa Kok.In addition, Teresa Kok has demanded RM100 million in compensation from Utusan Malaysia Chamil and the publication for defamation, demanding an immediate public retraction by Utusan and an apology to be published in newspapers of her choice, plus an undertaking that Chamil and Utusan will not repeat the allegations and comments contained in the article.DAP has also filed a report against Utusan Malaysia, claiming Chamil was attempting to stir up public sentiments to carry out political assassination against Kok.

Utusan has also been criticised for publishing very little international news; the Foreign News section typically consists of only two to three pages out of 50 pages in total.

In January 2011, the newspaper suspended a journalist, Hata Wahari, president of the National Union of Journalists, after alleging that Hata had brought the newspaper into disrepute and “insulted” its management.

The widely perceived view that Utusan Malaysia is nothing more than a propaganda newsletter for the ruling government has been given much greater credence after its deputy chief editor Zaini Hassan openly stated in a forum organised by the National Civics Bureau that it was acceptable for Utusan to “spin facts” to be “biased in our [the BN Government’s] favour”. The Malaysiakini reporter covering the forum was later barred from attending.