Ananda Krishnan ... again! The Prime Minister's fishing buddy seems to have a fetish for the Malay Mail. About a year ago, he was rumoured to have expressed interest in buying the Mail and sister paper Sunday Mail. (The tycoon told a couple of senior editors that he thought the Mail was the best newspaper around then!). Kalimullah Hassan, who has claimed to be close to Ananda, proposed to the NSTP board that the group sells the Malay Mail and Sunday Mail to the tycoon. His proposal was shot down by a board member representing Media Prima, the biggest shareholder of NSTP.
Talk resurfaced last month that the Media Prima is now offering to sell off the Malay Mail and the (suspended) Weekend Mail. I was told there are three suitors and Ananda is one of them. The other two are Tony Fernandez, the Air Asia boss (who wanted to launch a magazine for Air Asia last year but abandoned the idea in the last minute), and Ibrahim Nor, the Bluc Inc. publisher (who has about a dozen magazine titles and a stake in Berita Publishing).
Ananda, of course, has nearly everything that money can buy, including at least a gulet in Turkey. In the media industry, he has Maxis, various magazines, satellites, Astro tv, and radio channels. But not a newspaper.
You can expect members of the Supreme Council who recently spoke against the proposed NeST-UM merger to oppose the sale of the Malay Mail to a non-Malay. But Ananda is the PM's fishing buddy.