Thursday, November 13, 2008
Ownership of Traditional Media by the Government
Media Prima Berhad is a subsidiary media corporation that controls several television networks, newspaper, and radio stations and is linked to Malaysia’s ruling party UMNO. Media Prima controls English newspapers such as New Straits Times and Malay Mail, as well as Malay papers like the Berita Harian. This company is the biggest media group in Malaysia, owning roughly 54% of Malaysia television viewership and controlling a market share of approximately 29%. Television channels such as TV3, NTV7, 8TV, and many more, while radio stations for example Hot FM and Fly FM are owned by this company. Besides Media Prima, another media corporation is the Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM) who controls 17 % of the television audiences. The government owns RTM and operates a number of radio and television stations in Malaysia. RTM runs 8 national, 16 states, 7 district radio stations and two television station at present. (Netto, A 2007)
The political parties and their investment companies control the major newspaper in Malaysia. The Utusan Melayu Group, which is owned by UMNO, publishes three Malay language dailies and has strong ties to former Prime Minister Mahathir’s party. The major English newspaper, The Star and New Straits Times (NST) is also owned by the political parties. The Star which has a daily circulation of 302,658 and 310,950 on Sundays (The Star Online 2008) is owned by the MCA meanwhile the NST which has a daily of 2.542 million (NSTP 2007) in Peninsular Malaysia is owned by UMNO (Press Reference 2007). Besides The Star newspaper, MCA also controls four other significant media press companies – Sin Chew Jit Poh, Nanyang Siang Pau, China Press, and Guang Ming Daily. Meanwhile, Tamil newspapers such as Malaysia Namban, Makkal Osai and Tamil Nesan are all owned by the MIC.
Netto, A 2007, Malaysian Media, Giant, Grasps for Internet, Asia times Online, viewed 12 November 2008,
NSTP 2007, NSTP takes 25pc of circulation pie, The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad, viewed 12 November 2008,