Makkal Osai is Back!


Read here .  The newspaper, the youngest and the most vocal of the three Tamil Language newspapers in Malaysia, will now be back on the stands come Saturday, its GM said today.

A little background.

The paper ceased publications for about a week from 16 April 2008, when its management received a letter saying that its publishing permit would not renewed by the Home Ministry.

SEAPA quoted CIJ and Malaysiakini in this report that tells us that Makkal Osai’s licence actually expired on 15 October 2007, but they continued publishing “upon informal assurances from the authorities that it could while its application for a fresh licence awaited approval.”

I have a theory that this newspaper, which has been a pain in the ass for a lot of different parties. I think the real reason the permit wasn’t renewed was due to the church pressure over the Smoking Jesus Christ picture. This had already earned the paper a 30-day suspension.

However, I was told that a lot of these church types wanted to make sure this paper that offended some people’s religious sensitivities, does not flourish.

Makkal Osai’s suspension brought a lot of people together with the similar cries of Be Fair and Save Makkal Osai. This included well known pressmen like Syed Nadzri and M Veera Pandiyan , Aliran and even PAS Youth coming together in an uncanny gesture of solidarity across many differences of race, religion and ideology. 

 Maybe it worked because sociopolitical climate is very very different today to the same date last year. Makkal Osai would have been quietly relegated to scrap heap of history with the insulting One-paragraph letter from KDN.

They did not count on such a big outcry over a small vernacular paper. Such united cry from the people.

They did not count on so many parties asking them what guidelines Makkal Osai had breached. If there was a guideline that it breached that the paper hasn’t paid for, then please, Mr Home Minister, tell us


Tell us, and tell all these media folks, so it is clear. Now is not the time for you to have “discretionary” policies that leaves the media hostage to the whims and fancies of a Home Ministry official.

Remember who put you guys there in the first place! 


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