Thursday, September 28, 2006


Sad Times. Synovate's latest readership stat is bad news for Kalimullah Hassan: his New Straits Times' readership is now nearly ONE MILLION less than rivals The Star. And theSun is rising.

To add to NST's woes, The Malay Mail, which was the fastest growing English-language daily in 2003, a year before Kalimullah was sent to NSTP as its GEIC, is now the least-read of all dailies in all languages, according to Synovate.

Synovate, yes. AC Nielsen, no.
Two years ago, there was no Synovate. The gap between NST and The Star was only about 600,000, according to AC Nielsen. But Kalimullah refused to believe it: he had shrunk the NST's size, gave away many luxury cars to readers, and brought in his foreign-trained journalist friends to replace the "old" editors. He accused AC Nielsen of being bias in their readership surveys and, with the help of theSun, started a campaign against AC Nielsen. He went to the extent of soliciting the PM 's support to fight his battle with AC Nielsen and The Star. The PM was "bemused", wrote The Star, when NST asked him to comment on the NST-AC Nielsen "dispute". Kalimullah then brought in Synovate to prove he was right.

The first time around, Synovate gave NST a readership of 530,000 (from the 300,000-plus AC Nielsen gave it) and around 1.1 million for The Star.

But last week's numbers show that NST is continuing to lose readership while The Star keeps pulling away. Will Kalimullah, now the Editorial Adviser and Deputy Chairman of NSTP, seek a third opinion to prove Synovate and AC Nielsen wrong? Will he turn to the PM for help again this time around?


  1. Anonymous12:56 am

    That pasqueal on the previous comment do have serious 'm.b.h'or sincere thought?

  2. Anonymous2:39 am

    Let's put it this way:
    No one is a fool always, every one sometimes.

    Rocky, can Yamin's CBT be sold saperately as that's the only part that I can read the whole week from NST. The rest are junks.
    (except sports & TV program )

  3. Anonymous2:43 am


    Will the Synovate survey result see daylight in any of the NSTP newspapers? I think it will. But not before the spin doctors have gone through it. You know lah statistics! They can be analysed the way you want. And there'll always be justification if one is to think deeply. So what if the readership of the NST is less than the Star! Education Minister Hishamuddin Hussein has gone on reacord to say that the NST, especially now when it's headed by Singapore-trained editors, is the best medium to help pupils improve their English. And one see how much space is given to the sponsorship of the newspaper by corporates in this era of manufacturing newspaper sales. I have a question to ask Synovate - do you take into account the sale and readership of the sponsorship sales? If you do, then you must state so in your report. And while you are at it, you must also mention that sponsorship sales are not possible during school holidays. Nobody go to school ma, so nobody buy the paper!

    In the early days of the new regime in the NSTP, the senior management in the form of Dato Syed Faisal and Dato Kali, went to town hyping the beginning of a new era in the history of the NSTP. Sales would reach record high (180,000 copies per day according to the interview Dato Kali gave to the Edge!). Both of them also appeared on TV3 saying that the good days were starting to come and bad days of bad sales under Dollah kok Lanas and everyone before him were about to become history! Heheh! How prophetic! One million gap between the NST and The Star is indeed historic Man! New all-time low! I do believe the denial syndrome is best seen in the NSTP than elsewhere today!

    Bru, how would LKY-sympathiser Brendan write (or rather spin) the Synovate report hah! Any idea? Could it be something like this:

    Headline: Synovate ain't great!

    A is for AMATEUR. This is the best, no, the only way to describe Synovate's approach in reporting the circulation and readership figures of this old newspaper.

    B is for BULL....Well readers, you know what the four dots stand for!

    C is for CONJURE. Numbers don't lie. Our own records provided by our own Circulation Dept shows that our sales continue to be on the increase. Synovate merely conjured those figures.

    D is for DAMN. I'll be damned if the synovate figures are correct...

    Tell you what guys - let's form a survey company and get some money from the NSTP by doing another survey to show that the NST sales are high and climbing. Let's do a mother of all surveys! Let's prove AC Nielsen and Synovate wrong! NSTP got money ma! They haven't finished renovating their office!

  4. Anonymous5:43 am

    The most honourable thing for Kalimullah to do is commit Harakiri.

  5. Nah! I'd think he'd rather mullah-lah on the Kalihara.

    Go Star, go.

  6. Anonymous7:46 am

    Why do you wanna put Kali in that class of honourable warriors. Kali aint no honorable man.

    In fact, he is a penyangak who is too much of a coward to be a warrior.

    He should just be KICKED out of the NST.


  7. Anonymous9:05 am

    the worst thing to have ever happened to the NST is Kalimullah. He did not come to improve the NST. He came with that deepseated desire to settle old scores. And to make hay while the sun shines. kill many birds with one stone.
    certainly NOT slowly but very surely, the ruination of the NST began. Consider the people who left and the people he brought in, as well as the people he promoted.
    Have the people he brought into the NST helped to boost the circulation, readership of NST..i.e the numbers? the bottomline?
    Go through the list of the top execs in the editorial. With the exception of credible editors who have that they can do the job with integrity, the rest are either mediocre, overrated, lousy or all of that.
    Kalimulah thought that it was easy peasy, that he hadhis job all cut out for him.
    He will go down in the history of the NSt as the one who killed an institution. No, make it two institutions -- the NST and the Malay Mail.
    If you guys in the NST think he is doing all that he is doing in the best interest of the NSTP, or the journalists, you all must be in dreamland. wake up wake up.
    Yep, he sure had the job cut out for him...he is ruining the NST with such flair and ease.

  8. Anonymous9:08 am

    does Kalimulah care about the NST? Look what he did to the Malay Mail?
    Can you be prud of the Malay Mail?
    The MM is already under Media Prima.
    DOnt be surprised if the NST ends up in "someone else's" hands.

  9. Anonymous9:15 am

    Soon, Berita Harian will face the same fate like its big brother, NST. Believe me, Utusan Malaysia will overtake Berita Harian. My Utusan's friend told me that
    their figures by AC Nelson and ABC are higher.
    Please read pg1 headline of Berita Harian today, "Bata satukan Norman, Abby Sekeluarga". What is this?. Its an ads, actually. To my mine, the paper must be so desparate. I don't believe it.
    Berita Harian has embarked to that kind of decision. The real page one at pg 3.

  10. Anonymous9:18 am

    aah. how we remember kalimulah's exasperation with AC Nielsen's figures. He was in denial. AC Nielsen couldnt be right. Surely there was another body to disprove AC Nielsen's figures. And sure enough. Viola! C'est Synovate. A GOdsend. Poor pathetic man. Couldnt believe that he just could not make it happen for the NST.
    If anyone should be made to answer for NST's decline -- it is Kalimulah. But the sn.... that he is ... he decided to leave his GEIC post so that Hishmudin will now HAVE to be accountable.
    Just look at the Malay Mail. He knew the new MM wouldnt work. Not that he was smart to know that. Any idiot would know that. So, he had MM to be a Sdn Bhd. and made Syed Faisal responsible.
    Well, we wont be surprised if he has already started the blame game.

    someone who knows

  11. Anonymous9:28 am


    Now I remember why I switch from NST to The Star. I wonder do NST realise that newspaper readers are people that knows how to think. Again thank goodness we dont have a monopoly of mainstream newspaper like TM Net. We can always choose other alternative.

  12. Anonymous9:30 am

    Hai Kawan, itu masa Lolah Kok Lanas punya lejim ha lia kena buang kelija sebab sikit punya hal lo..lia tulis itu pasal Alab punya pelangai. Itu celita pelangai olang Alab, bukan lahasia punya celita pun. Semua olang sudah tahu. Sekalang, banyak busat punya hal di NST pun, semua elitor boleh tidur lena sebab tatak takut kena buang kelija punya..buat salah busat pun tatak ada hal punya. Circulation jatuh pun tatak apa. Bikit VSS, buang lamai elitor pun, lapat lestu dali olang atas. Umno pun tatak kata apa-apa....jadi lu mau buang olang pun, lu punya suka lah. Syed Paisal, lu jangan takut selamat punya...Latuk Hishamulin pu tatak perlu takut punya, lu selamat...Latuk Kali, lu lagi selamat punya lah.

  13. Anonymous9:31 am

    Simple, Junk that Synovate, and AC Nielsen survey.

    Get ECM Libra start a new business in market survey and first job, to do a survey on newspaper readership.

    100% sure, the survey will show NST and Malay Mail readership skyrocket.

  14. Bro,

    MM memang membosankan sekarang terutamanya selepas bahagian sukannya tidak lagi menyiarkan keputusan-keputusan terkini acara yang berlangsung di Eropah ketika kita sedang tidur.

  15. Anonymous10:51 am

    K = Known for being infantile, childish, immature, unprofessional and VERY incompetent

  16. Anonymous11:22 am


    do you not think that we have feelings? do you not think that we feel that NST could be under better stewardship? Do you not think that we believe that the appointments and promotiosn of the senior editorial posts are laughable?
    We are not sleeping. We know who are good and who are not. At least for some of us who are not in the habit of "ampu bodek".
    We hear, we see. We know.
    We hope for better things to come. We know we lost some very good editors.
    some of us are not like those senior journalists who left under the VSS. If i had worked long enough i would have most definitely taken the VSS.
    What can we do now? Fight? We just want to do our job and collect our pay at the end of the month. We want to stay out of the politics.
    We know Kalimulah is sinister, evil, vengeful, malicious, incompetent...etc etc.

    Aaah.... but at least, our office is nice.

    gal on the 2nd floor

  17. Anonymous11:26 am


    what has kali done since he took over NST?
    yes, you are right -- he will be best remembered as the one who made the NST a tabloid. Pardon me -- compact, tabloid... Sure fits the bill of a tabloid.
    and he will be better remembered as the one who DESTROYED the NST and KILLED the Malay Mail.
    we will go the CAMBODIA TIMES way.

  18. Anonymous11:28 am

    mimpi lah you all semua.
    Kalimula tak akan belah dari NST. wlaupun ciculation nst turun turun turun. dia akan persalahkan orang lain. dia akan salahkan hisham, atau budak circulation, marketing...siapa siapa lah. tapi bukan diri dia.

  19. Anonymous11:47 am

    can't but agree with you... NST, if ever, they are using the Synovate stats, will definitely spin the story...fudge the figures, perhaps. do whatever it takes to make NST look good.
    that said -- i am most sad to see such a giant (i still say giant for all that the NST USED to represent) of a paper go down.
    I know that Star had been the industry leader and had overtaken NST for a bit now. Be that as it may, NST had histoy, did have flair, elegance, an established and reputable newspaper, despite being a pro-establishment newspaper, it had credibility. I suppose, you would have to see who is running the paper and who make up the editorial team. Today, only a handful of very credible, experienced and professional editors make up the team.

    bangawan solo

  20. Anonymous11:52 am

    for your information, since Kalimulah took over, he brought in Brendan Pereira (now group editor), Rajan Moses (executive editor in charge of Business times), Joan Lau (life and Times editor), Wan Hamidi (specialsit writer), Santha Orjitham (Sunday Times features editor).

    Kalimullah told people that brendan was brought in because there was nobody else in the NST who could do the job.
    Of course, only idiots would believe him.

    liza minelli

  21. Anonymous11:58 am

    Friends, citizens, Malaysians. Lend me your ears.

    Kalimullah knows little or nothing about running business let alone newspapers. He only has a Form Six qualification (Part Cert only). Never even went to a polytechnic.

    His experience in the corporate world comes from making up the bumiputra quota in Chinese companies ie MBF Finance, ECM Libra etc. Chinaman run the business, Kalimullah does the 'I know the Dato' part.

    In Singapopre's Chinaman controlled atmosphere he held no management positions or editorial positions with any newspaper. He was just a 'writer' being watched for other uses.

    At the NST Kalimullah's job is just to spin, spin and more spin about Pak Lah. The only way Kalimullah is going to increase NST's readership is to get Pak Lah and family to personally buy an extra 500,000 copies of NST everyday. No one wants to read about Pak Lah.

    You see Kali, granted that the NST's job is to ampu and bodek the PM but this PM does not make good copy.

    During Mahathir's time, suka tak suka people want to know what Mahathir was saying. And the NST papers provided that angle. The Star always put that little bit of anti Melayu spin to anything about Mahathir which the practical Chinese business class also realised.

    Hence even the Chinese business class had to read the NST just to keep up with Mahathir. Ingat lagi tak - Bakun one day, MSC another day, Langkawi another day, then KLCC, Anwar out, Bush out, etc etc. That was the Mahathir roller coaster.

    Now Abdullah is just so boring. You write about Abdullah and you will lose even more market share. The man is just boring. Muka pun muka slamber.

    Let me give the NST a hint to improve its circulation. Carry more stories about Najib. The talk now is that in Govt there are Two Channels. The Abdullah Channel which does not work at all. He is sleeping. Then you have the Najib Channel. Want to get anything done, tell Najib.

    The NST is the PM's cheerleader. If the PM is interesting, the NST will be ok. If the PM is an idiot, the NST is doomed. This is what is happening now.

  22. orak-arik, what is 'm.b.h'?

    as to whether pasqual is sincere or not, you have to go back to his previous postings (as another poster did, just to check on pasquale's psyche, i suspect).

    or let's wait for pasquale to respond to your query.

  23. Anonymous1:15 pm

    Hello Mr Rocky,
    I am not so sure about the statistics but at least someone here got it right - my reporter friends in the NST are SOOOO happy with their new office. Some good has come of this Kali-Bren takeover lah.
    Cheers to them and keep the bru boiling bro.

  24. Anonymous1:43 pm

    Anonymous said...
    ... and he will be better remembered as the one who DESTROYED the NST and KILLED the Malay Mail.
    we will go the CAMBODIA TIMES way.

    Lol! And I thought nobody remembered Cambodia Times. I Googled after reading the above comment, couldn;t find much on Cambodia Times.

    As I remember it, during the mid-90s Cambodia was up and coming. A Malaysian started Cambodia Times with some Malaysian jounalists and local staff. The paper was doing Ok, not great but Ok. It's English version (it had a Khmer one, too) was a read for the expats and tourists.

    That time Chen Lip Keong's FACB had made inroads into Cambodia. Kalimullah was a staff (the Edge reported he was GM in charge of business ops in Cambodia). Being a failed journalist, Kalimullah was eyeing Cambodia Times and he managed to convince Chen to buy the paper from its owners (i think the Malaysian is a PR whiz, still a big player here).

    Chen put him in charge of Cambodia Times. This is around 96, I think. Very quickly, the newspaper degenerated under Kalimullah.

    So Anon, the NST going Cambodia Times won't surprise us oldtimers. IN the hands of Kalimullah, anything can be destroyed!

  25. Anonymous2:16 pm

    old ghost
    i tell you, kalimulah is a big fat liar. not surprised that the edge reported him as the GM in charge if operations in Cambodia in shortlived Cambodia Times days. The edge didnt get it wrong. They wrote what was told to them by Kalimulah. Just like he rewrote his own history in the Star.

    Hahaa. Good for the reporters at the NST.. Its the least Kalimulah could do. give you a nice office...hahaaa.
    Wowww on the outside but rotten inside, eh.

  26. Rocky: I believe Minister ZAM was caught in a similar bind some months ago. Maybe NST and RTM can now engage some academics/private sector JV to start a new survey service.

    If they "acidentally add one zelo to NST, RTM's and incidentally minus one zelo from The Star and TV3's, you have a nu'es story to tell:)

    Desi's Place will also subscribe to the new service if they pay me RM20mil...

  27. Anonymous2:56 pm

    Old Ghost said...
    IN the hands of Kalimullah, anything can be destroyed!

    Well, isnt Kali The Hindu God(ess) of Destruction?

  28. Anonymous3:08 pm

    The NST's circulation fallen?
    Am not a bit surprised.Count me in as a statistic that contributed to this fall.The reason's obvious..gone are the days when the printed word is taken to be the hallowed truth.

    Just in case the boys at the Star are wiping their hands in, its not because the Star is better, but its just that there is a lack of alternative for people to catch on things like world affairs, business news, etc.

    There's a crying need for an alternative English paper. I thought the Sun was good, till recently that is,but its now becoming a NST clone in terms of viewpoints. Not surprising really, when K and the editor-in-chief of the Sun were seen sailing together in Bali recently.

  29. Anonymous3:18 pm

    "Chen put him in charge of Cambodia Times. This is around 96, I think. Very quickly, the newspaper degenerated under Kalimullah".

    Which proves my points, friends and citizens, that Kalimullah knows little about business. He has failed repeatedly in the market. At one time Kalimullah was involved in the ridiculous project to reclaim land off Kedah, and even build an airport on one of them. How stupid can you get ?

    Kalimullah lost his pants and ended up living in a rented terrace house in Subang Jaya.

    Now as Pak Lah's bag man and ball carrier, Kalimullah has cornered the market on cronyism. That is the only way this mamak is going to make money.

    As for NST, it is doomed. This year 400,000 readership. That means circulation (readers divide by 4) is about 100,000 only - mostly retired Indian people who were formerly Telekoms, TNB and Malayan Railway workers.

    NST is doomed. Pak Lah is doomed. Kalimullah is doomed. The BN is doomed.

  30. Anonymous3:45 pm

    If the goons at NST had any sense at all, they would pull the plug on MM and start a Tamil tabloid instead. Indians may only have a tiny piece of the economic pie, but as the impressive figures for the Tamil newspapers indicate, they're great readers and take their news seriously. Tamil is one of the most dynamic languages in the world; the fact that it's thriving outside India, often in the face of racially-motivated linguistic suppression, is a testament to its enduring power.

  31. Anonymous3:58 pm

    Adakah kerja PM panggil Brendan hari-hari?
    Tak bolehkah Press Secretary buat kerja ni?
    Apa besar sangat si Pereira ni?
    Talifon Menteri dan MB Pak Lah tak jawab tapi si Pereira ni maharajalela bagi tau budak2 bodoh NST PM just called me!
    Saya berani kata nothing will happen to Brendan sebab PM dah termakan budi.

  32. Rocky

    Lucky Kali is not working with Donald Trump but under a mediocre brained PL.

    Otherwise, with puckered lips and ballooning cheeks, he will be hearing the sacred words "you're fired!".

    Even in his own stable, he can't do a "Cemerlang, Gemilang and Terbilang". What about in the GLC and Country's Economy!

    With my own puckered lips and ballooning cheeks, "Pak Lah, you are fired!". Better me than the people and UMNO members. :-)

  33. Anonymous8:31 pm

    Ding-ding said...
    I thought the Sun was good, till recently that is,but its now becoming a NST clone in terms of viewpoints. Not surprising really, when K and the editor-in-chief of the Sun were seen sailing together in Bali recently.

    Tell me more!

  34. Anonymous10:26 pm

    Before anyone forget, the Star is run by the MCA and all those rich, fat Chinese businessmen. Also government paper! So go ahead, run down the NST. See where that gets us.

  35. Anonymous1:14 am

    eh...malay businessman are fat too!!

    somemore usually have many in every state...


    why can't chinses have their own paper? they must read the ads so they know what to buy..not like the star is 'a great read'...

  36. Anonymous1:19 pm

    Poor OK Tat and Mullah. They were disappointed with AC Nielsen figures so they engaged Synovate hoping their different methodology will give them better readership figures.

    But alas, looks like in NST's case it didn't work. Instead of forging ahead, it is trailing far behind the shining Star.

    If Sun doesn't buck up, it will face the same fate. Quality has been getting from bad to worse and I've known some people who's given up reading Sun although it's free.

    So who will K Tat and Mullah engage next? Set up their own company and give themselves X5 readership?

  37. Anonymous7:04 pm

    Hey guys, Kali is actually doing well. As far as he is concern he is only competing with Tamil Nesan :D

  38. Anonymous5:05 pm

    What do you expect of the malay mail, bro, when they carry a frontpage lead story on Siti making sambal belacan for Datuk K!!!

    The story was about the honeymoon in hawaii's over and that Siti has among her major tasks ahead to prepaper sambal belacan for her husband during this holy month of Ramadhan.

    the bird-brained "editors", Yusri, Yushaimi and that Zul chap are the laughing stock of our industry.

    for your info, bro, the circulation dipped to below 10,000 on certain days and dont listen to what others tell you, i know it for a fact because i am directly involved.

    the readership figure is even much lower now, and they are all screaming for help.

    help them please or contact some lama punya editors to assist them, bro.