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Makkal Osai loses licence

Contributed by Anonymous on Wednesday, April 16 @ 21:47:12 CDT

Tamil Dailies
KUALA LUMPUR: The Home Ministry has rejected an application for renewal of the publishing licence of Tamil daily, Makkal Osai. Yesterday, a letter signed by a ministry official by the name of Abdul Razak Abdul Latiff, on behalf of the ministry’s secretary general, said: “We regret to inform you that the licence will not be renewed.”

Following the rejection, Makkal Osai will soon file an appeal against the decision by the Home Ministry. The newspaper’s general manager S.M. Periasamy said that they were informed of the decision by a telephone call from the Home Ministry yesterday. “When I went to the ministry in the afternoon to check if the phone call was true, they handed me the letter rejecting renewal of our licence.” The letter did not state any reasons for the rejection. “I pleaded with the Home Ministry officials, including Abdul Razak, and they told me to submit an appeal against the decision,” he said. “It was a sad day for the newspaper because more than 100 people will become unemployed at the stroke of a pen.” Periasamy said his staff was shocked at the decision, adding that the office received many calls from the paper’s readers, some of whom expressed anger over the paper’s closure. “I’ve told my workers to calm down and continue to come to the office as usual pending further instructions,” he added. Periasamy denied that the rejection was due to publication of opposition news reports. “We published news covering both the Barisan Government and the Opposition, as was seen during the general election. We are in the dark over the reasons,” he added. The newspaper started operations as Tamil Osai in 1981, and later changed its name to Makkal Osai in 2005. It has a daily circulation of 52,000 copies and 95,000 on weekends. Periasamy, who joined the newspaper in 1989, said former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam met with Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar yesterday. Makkal Osai submitted an application for renewal on July 16, 2007, three months before its permit expired on Oct 15 last year. The day its permit expired, the daily continued publication with the understanding that the Government was in the process of considering its application for renewal. Besides Makkal Osai, the other two Tamil dailies are Tamil Nesan and Malaysia Nanban.*********



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