Monday, May 05, 2008

The Paper That Cares is back!

The free* MALAY MAIL. From today, the paper I used to edit (2001-2006) hits the stands at noon. The relaunch this evening (Guess what? I'm invited!) shows that even in this New Media age, the Old can still re-invent. And Malay Mail (note: the "The" is gone from the title piece) is about the oldest. As a Malaysian born and bred, it is even older than the NST.
Get a copy and tell me about it.

* FREE from the New Straits Times Press, both editorially and in shareholding terms, that is. After some experiments that went awry in 2006 and 2007, the NSTP decided to sell the paper to Ibrahim Nor and Media Prima.


  1. Will the "Free" mean further to be free to tell the Truth?
    To tell the Dark Sides and Grievances and the Manipulation of the Judiciary and the Government offices?
    IF YES, I have a few to contribute!
    If how to get contact with Malay Mail with all the necessary protection of a Whistle Blower are available!

  2. Anonymous3:58 pm

    if media prima is in control, whats the difference? ultimately, the link is still UMNO. Expect the new mail to be free from the shackles of the political masters? i have my grave doubts.

  3. housewatch, i think we have to be realistic, that aint going to happen soon.

    But whatever it is, now that the government is more aware of freedom of press, I hope they are trying their hardest at least to make it work about the whole press freedom issue. A little bit goes a long way!

    keep your fingers crossed!

  4. Ummm... Media Prima... isn't it UMNO affiliated as well? LOL~~

  5. Anonymous4:05 pm

    The first edition is interesting...zooming on the public transportation viz a viz the komuter with the headline screaming..Billion ringgit flop.

    The gist of the matter is that the policy maker is not listening to the operator's (that's KTMB) on their requirements and thus the priority are mixed up...

    Whatever it is, hope that future headlines will be as bold (if not bolder) than this and MM will do responsible investigative reporting without fear and favour...

    Till then...G'nite M'sia...wherever u are...

  6. Anonymous4:09 pm

    media prima ah? hehe. i wont be holding my breathe!

  7. Media Prima? ceh. sama saja lah...wait and see first whether really free...

  8. Anonymous4:28 pm

    whatever it is, its survival will still depend on whether can offer something different from the sun, the star and the new straits times. nobody wants to be bored with similar things. malay mail has to prove it is relevant. that means showing the parts of the
    of the city neglected by the other papers.

  9. Anonymous4:30 pm

    The only paper that really care is the toilet paper..

    It ain't leaving any shit on you!

  10. I preferred the previous masthead because it reminded me of the Picnic chocolate wrapping.

    My column appears on Wednesday; see how long I last this time!

  11. Anonymous4:39 pm

    No trains? We found them
    THE Rawang-Ipoh doubletracking project, costing taxpayers more than RM4 billion, took 13 years to build and was finally commissioned last November — but there are no trains to run the route.
    The trains are expected to arrive next year, and can only service the entire route in 2010.
    Ironically, while Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad (KTMB) stutters, the Transport Ministry had already awarded the RM12.5 billion Ipoh-Padang Besar double-tracking project to MMC Corp and Gamuda last June.
    The shortage of trains has also led to the steady deterioration of the KTM Komuter service in the Klang Valley, with thousands running the risk of being late daily due to the irregular service.
    Malay Mail learnt that KTMB could have lost millions of ringgit in revenue as the passenger volume had dropped by eight per cent in the last one year due to the irregular service.
    This does not factor in the cost of maintenance and electricity bills to power the double-tracking project. The stations along the route are brightly lit, despite the stations being under-utilised.
    Since it was commissioned in November, only three test trips were made to Ipoh, one of which ferried the former transport minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy.
    Malay Mail began investigations to ascertain the whereabouts of the trains after learning that only 21 of the original fl eet of 62 were servicing the Klang Valley last month.
    Our probe led us to a train “graveyard” at the KTM depot in Sentul where several trains were being cannibalised for parts while others were undergoing repairs or refurbishment. Some had been decommissioned after being involved in major accidents.
    During our visit to the shunting yard last Wednesday, a KTM personnel said since several old trains had been decommissioned, KTMB had no choice but to “play around with what we have” to cope with the some 100,000 passengers that depend on them daily.
    “We are also using the same trains to cater to commuters outside the Klang Valley loop, especially those staying between Rawang and Kuala Kubu Baru.” On many occasions, he said, KTMB had to face the wrath of commuters in Serendah, Batang Kali, Rasa and Kuala Kubu Baru who were late for work because there were not enough trains to keep the schedule.
    Currently, the KTM Komuter service in the Klang Valley is being run with only 30 trains. Even so, the Rawang- Kuala Kubu Baru trips are severely affected as KTMB struggles to cope with Klang Valley’s requirements.
    The heavy usage of the limited number of trains is taking its toll as more and more trains are sent for repairs or even decommissioned.

    Syabas Malay Mail kerana mengutarakan persoalan KTM Komuter. Saya biasa menggunakan KTM komuter sejak pertengahan 90an dari Shah Alam ke KL. Setelah agak lama tidak berulang-alik Shah Alam - KL baru-baru ini saya beberapa kali menggunakan KTM Komuter. Amat mengecewakan kerana perkhidmatannya semakin teruk daripada pertengahan 90an. Sesak, panas (sauna) dan tidak mengikut jadual.
    Dengan keadaan perkhidmatan yang semakin buruk serta perancangan yang tidak betul ini saya harap kementerian pengangkutan serta kabinet serta ahli parlimen yang berkenaan dapat membongkar masalah ini ke akar umbi.


  12. Anonymous4:52 pm

    Who are the sportwriters ?

  13. Anonymous4:55 pm

    saw the first issue. Not bad..based on the classified pages pr ads that they attracted..not sure whether paid or gratis...its surely better than previously...BUt then not as good when you were heading it.

  14. Anonymous4:59 pm

    AFter that, let's hope they will be the PAPER THAT DARES like the Malay Mail was under you...

    but then....aiyooh..cost you your job, didnt it?

    so, i think...MM should just be paper that cares, huh?

    that's OK, by me...

  15. Anonymous5:00 pm

    My best wishes to Malay Mail, where I spent 11 prime years of my life (Oct'94-Dec'05). It was a sh*tload of fun and more, to sum it all up.


  16. I am also invited but probably cannot make it, anyway good luck to the new "Malay Mail"


  17. Anonymous5:24 pm

    The paper is not bad. Readable. But still the paper will not be free unless it stays out of Umno;s control. Being a paper with Umno links leaves it vulnerable. I have suggested to Malay Mail to get some prominent bloggers to write for them. How about Rocky and Zorro? By the way, i congratulate veteran Ian Periera for being appointed Obits Writer. He is arguably the best obit writer in the country at the moment. He says he loves his job because of his morbid fascination with all things dead. I hope he does not end up writing Malay Mail's obituary.

  18. Rocky, was it your time ka when the Malay Mail went porno and there was lots of flak? Ka lepas you dah tak de?

  19. Anonymous5:28 pm

    I will reserved my comments at this point of time....

    There's never everything "Free"!!!

  20. Hmm... Azlan Ramli? Long time no see... I guess I might as well say hi and assalamualaikum to you too Rocky... Send my regards to Nuraina and all the other ex-mainstream journos especially of the NST group.

    - From the guy who used to stay n sleep for almost 3 years on the top floor, the parking floor of the NST, and then sacked by the powers-that-be of 2001, hehe! :]

    Lan... Have a look at my blogs, especially this one. It's a different boat altogether... That goes for you too Rocky, that is if you can find the time to visit my humble abode of non-consquence...
    Rather than talking about what's happening that riles people up and contribute to the country's current state of affairs, I'd rather talk about travelling in search of one's roots which most of the time would languish into an ancient past which most people have no idea of... Only occasionally would I peek into what's happening in current times. Go, have a look...

    Sorry, that's in Malay... Have a look then at this English blog...

    And if you still have time to spare, visit this bi-lingual one... Concentrates mainly on mosque and morbidly, tombs... Of saintly figures and Malay royalty...

  21. Anonymous6:28 pm

    To me... only better:

    MM went 'porn' after Rocky left. There were a few monkeys at the MM Newsdesk who thought they were doing something clever...

  22. Anonymous6:31 pm

    amir, yes the previous masthead was soooo much better.
    content wise lagi better so guess it evens out.
    the question is .... can they keep it up? can the underpaid and overworked staff tolerate the long working hours without overtime or will they jump ship?
    i heard from my old mates that more reporters and sub editors will be leaving very soon.
    anon 4.52 ... sportwriters? no one important. not such a strong team and to think sports is going to play an important role. altho got to admit, backpage, dr ramlan makes a fool of himself

  23. Anonymous6:43 pm

    did malay mail steal its new tagline from this website?

    just a thought

  24. Anonymous6:45 pm

    Malay Mail??why do you have to incorporate 'malay' into the name of a newspaper?Is it true that everything written is all about malay only? When I come about this 'malay' word everytime i read the newspaper,i will think of UMNO..their atrocities and facist style of administration.
    Might as well name it as Umno Mail.
    Madee me naceous.

  25. Attan, Esq!
    {Aside: did u kown that aataan, in sanskrit , tamil etc is very very sexy! - Do not worry Rocky! I have my .... in place unlike some persons who tried to do SAI!}
    Can u tell & more important, TEACH, the Malay Mail whatwe want!
    Chiao! Young Brother! I wish I was born a little later! Anyway I will back U 175%! balance 25% depends on whether its teh tarik or.......!
    Take Care , A.Atan/Rocky & God speed!

  26. Anonymous9:02 pm

    Free from NST, yes.
    Free from the government, no.
    Best of luck to the new MM!

  27. Anonymous9:07 pm


    You should have been the man to lead it and take it to greater heights.

    You did it before.

    Well, we will now have to wait for it to go under one last time before you work your magic, right?

  28. Anonymous9:14 pm

    Without great apple and shoe gosokers like Satwant S Dhilawil, supreme travelers like TM dass, class one telephone and email reporters like Rizal Hashim, the Malay Mail sportsdesk is like a lame duck. they should rope in Christopher Raj from NST sports to beef up the desk. At least then they have some class people who can suck.

  29. Anonymous10:29 pm

    chan kong choy? remember him for two great efforts:
    the biggest scandal in the history of malaysia with the 4.7 billion white elephant in klang.
    and as mr air asia.
    wanna talk more?

  30. Anonymous1:04 am

    the sports journo in MM is lead by a young yet very matured man -haresh deol who has been stringing for the paper for the past 8 years until he became a full time staff mid last year. ghaz ramli who is a former news desk journo also has around 3-4 years experience

    on the sports desk.both have what it takes to rock the sports pages.

    to the old farts..move r no longer RELEVANT lar!

    p/s to the old farts; repent lar..after all you have a couple more years before you go 6-feet under.

  31. Anonymous1:24 am

    yar. with all the racial tension and all, perhaps the 'malay' mail will be a bit..iffy. i have nothing against it though. just that i'm sure there will be shallow people screaming their lungs out at that.

  32. Anonymous1:24 am

    eh we're so sick of you 'old timers' ticking the younger generation off. It's even the same with us at the news desk as well.

    Get a life la! If you claim to be sooooooo come your bosses didn't give a sh@t when you left? Coz you're replacable!

  33. lets hope that malay mail will be fair with their reporting from now on. i truly wish to see a revolution in malaysian media. :)

  34. Anonymous7:55 am

    reading comments from the new MM staff shows their lack of maturity! tsk tsk tsk! long time to go kids! dont forget to wipe your nose!

  35. Anonymous11:03 am

    Anon 7.55am - Don't forget to wipe your a$$...or better still, try using adult diapers.

    Kunta Kinte

  36. Anonymous12:35 pm

    Dear Rocky,

    Sad to say this but you are wrong. Malay Mail is not 'free' from the evil clutches of the NST as Chandra is still pulling the strings from behind the scenes.
    Expect to see the return of Buzz to replace Flip this week.
    As everyone knows, Buzz was Chandra's baby back when he was ur No 2 in the Malay Mail.
    It's a pity such a fine editor as Tony Francis can't make decisions without CONsulting his old pal.

  37. Anonymous2:03 pm


    How can MM profess to be free of the chains that bind Media Prima, and what more with a supremo like Tony Francis who has always been a yes man to the powers that be when he was in the NST. Tony has never been known to ruffle feathers, and has always been a great suck-up artist, for how else would a sports editor become a chief news editor under a tyrant like kadir jasin. I am not holding my breath too, great layout but hey give us the hard stuff, the stuff we get from the blogs. We dont want just a beautiful-looking paper.

  38. Anonymous2:50 pm

    A very very badly designed masthead.
    One of the worst I've seen. In fact I'm shocked!
    Coming from a newspaper with such a long history, it is very shameful indeed. I betcha even a student designer/typographer can do a thousand times better than that lousy masthead.

    Yang ada manyak pengalaman designer.

  39. Anonymous3:44 pm

    Many of the senior staffers heading Malay Mail were silent collaborators during Kadir jasin's dirty war against journalism in the nineties following the incarceration of Anwar Ibrahim. It's a shame.

  40. Anonymous12:06 pm

    aiyah, from NSTP and Media Prima, itu sama saja. Last time the CEO of NSTP Syed Faisal himself tried to become the Editor for MM, nobody were correct except him....later he screwed up, then he hired Zul who is in Media Prima now, worst, the paper was suspended. Now with Media Prima (after NSTP).... I hope the MM does not go down the drain....

    Hey!!! Where are you guys who used to write and edit MM 17 years ago, come back and do something man...

    "The memory of MM Big Walk"

  41. Anonymous5:39 pm

    Tony Francis loves the new mastheadlah.
    when the staff told him they hated it, he told them "you gotta live with it. we are not changing."
    so much for freedom.
    on a different note, it is very difficult to get the new malay mail.
    either not enuough print order or vendors are not sending them out.

  42. Anonymous9:57 am

    anon 5.39pm

    the reason you couldn't get the malay mail yesterday was due to a 'blackout' at the nstp printing plant.
    tnb were contacted but they said it was an internal problem.
    according to insiders, tony f told datuk ibrahim he suspects sabotage.
    this will speed up the paper's move to the new pj office by july instead of september.
    how that is going to help is not clear as the paper will still be printed by nstp for the near future
    good opening day sales has made the bigwigs in nstp upset.

  43. Anonymous2:55 pm

    joke that is making it's round in the new malay mail ... hard rock cafe opening new branch at balai berita ... has to be true as hrc manager ronnie k has been in the office always 24 hours a day and even contributes to page 1 ideas.

  44. Anonymous11:31 pm

    MATCHA Mail!! Long live Hindraf!!

  45. Anonymous7:02 am

    Word from the ppl in Your Voice (MM's new tagline) is that there's not enuff reporters but too many bosses. Apparently, the ppl running the news desk is at a loss as to how to land the 101 story ideas demanded by them of the con-Sultans as the number of reporters are so few. The reporters, I've been told, work 12 hours days now, if not more. They are a young team and spirited but cannot sustain for so long at this pace.

    How la Tony F. Generals can plan and plan their war strategies but its the soldiers who actually do battle. If u dont have enuff, how to fight in the first place?

  46. Anonymous4:48 pm

    Anon life ar? Early morning edi online??

    Why u ask Tony F how lar?? No point lar brother (or sister or a-qua)...I heard he ask people for opinion and when people give views, he say; "live with it." (i onli quote the earlier comment ar)

    Since no more reporters, we get to see Frankie-goes-to-Hollywood and Tony F covering press much for being CON-sultans.

  47. Anonymous7:53 pm

    little birdie ...

    get yr facts rite lah bro. Ronnie K not only contributes to front page but also the sports pages as well as the lifestyle and entertainment sections.
    he is the unofficial official deputy editor as it is a well known fact YY has been sidelined and being deserted by his own friends - Irwan and Yogendra.
    Save money wat, no need to pay Ronnie plus he also supplies drinks.

  48. Anonymous11:34 am

    Trouble at the top?
    Rumour has it Tony and Bill are upset Frankie has allowed Ronnie free reign in the newsroom.
    A showdown expeced sooner rather than later.
    Is this the end of the dream (though some say nightmare) team?

  49. Anonymous1:03 pm

    Lil' Birdie..u sound like Yushaimi Yahya onli... :)

    Anyway..any insider / outsider would know a showdown is bound to happen.

    Bill, Frankie and Ronnie can't get their heads right..all 3 always outdoing each other (whether when it comes to drinking or doing story)

    Tony F will have to step in and play superman instead.

    Two copy subs are also trying to fulfill their Olympics dream and hope to head the sports desk before August.

    So there you have it...a bunch on Con-Sultans with agendas.

    p/s: Star is on the look-out for reporters and sub-editors.

  50. Anonymous6:30 pm

    Wong Tak-Cun Wai ...

    By copy subs I guess u mean johnson and devaraj?
    From what I hear, they may soon be the editor and deputy editor of sports.
    Anyway, Fernandez dynasty has already begun.
    What's next? The return of Tony Mariadass?
    PS. Bill and Frankie may be good friends but as u said, they always try to outdo each other.
    Tony F has to stepped up and put them in their place.

  51. Anonymous7:40 pm

    Did MIC buy over Malay Mail??

  52. Anonymous11:30 pm

    I fear for MM. Because I really hope it can make it although it's gonna be very difficult. Unless, MM's content is supa-dupa. But, currently, I'm not impressed. It needs impact. The hidden camera and KTM train stories are old stories but with new texts. Gimme good stories. Frankie, what has you been doing? Crack the whip like what you did before. It's hard to sell newspapers these days, except for the Star.

  53. Anonymous4:47 pm

    This month could be the end for MM.

    All stories are mostly about the Con-Sultans appa, amma, uncle, patty, aunty, grandfathers and grandmothers.

    Tony Francis is doing a fine job alrite. Your Voice? or Tony Francis Voice??

  54. Anonymous9:05 am

    a little birdie ... use ur own nicknamelah, dont steal my.
    but what you write is true, heard more of TF's friends and machas are joining malay mail

  55. Anonymous6:48 pm


    Is it true Nades and Terrance are finally going to join the new Malay Mail?
    My source in The Sun said Nades has been offered a double your money deal and he has been trying to recruit a few reporters and sub editors to follow him.
    Do you think Citizen Nades will do well in the new Malay Mail?

  56. Anonymous11:06 pm

    double money? plsss..current staff cannot pay wanna pay others double!

  57. Anonymous6:07 pm

    aiyaa toni mancis, u still dont get it is it?
    tony f mana bother about the current staff, not his people whaaaat!
    he rather they all quit so he can bring in his machas

  58. Anonymous7:18 pm

    who are his people? old folks who need the extra money to buy their coffins?

  59. Anonymous10:15 am

    Rocky, your beloved Malay Mail is going from bad to worse.
    your good friend Tony Francis now even has his golfing buddies writing for the paper.
    soon one of his golfing buddies will be taking over the sports desk.
    i agree with the person who said the malay mail tagline should not be your voice but rather tony francis's voice.

    ps: heard three more senior writers have quit or going to quit

  60. Anonymous2:46 pm

    Claude, you are only partially right, it's not three senior reporters but one each - reporter, sub editor and layout artist - who will be leaving.
    This will free the 'Gang of Four' to outsource more work to their friends, relatives and golfing buddies.
    Malay Mail will also be hiring a new Production Editor ... will this mark the return of Madam Monica?
    As for sports, no need to change anyone since they hardly have any work to do.
    If you ask me, the Gang of Four need to hire more experienced news reporters.
    The quality now leaves a lot to be desired.
    Yushaimi Yahaya will be missed if, as expected, he leaves in July.

  61. Anonymous11:36 pm

    Yushaimi to be missed..oh plssss!!

  62. Anonymous1:08 pm

    The staff are wondering if 'Mr Malay Mail' Yushaimi Yahaya will return from his week long cuti.
    Is this an indication he will be leaving sooner than expected?
    The talk in the newsroom is that former NST sports reporter Devaraj, who is now a copy editor, is being groomed for bigger things.
    He may soon be asked to lead the newsdesk as Tony F (not sure if F stands for Francis, Friends or well, you know what F can stand for, right) knows the reporters are weak.
    As for Monica, heard she only wants to return 2-3 times a week so she is unlikely to be production editor.
    As a footnote, the power behind the scenes, Chandra has apparently given his blessings to Tony so expect all these to happen within a month or two at the most.

  63. Anonymous1:53 pm

    Yushaimi is leaving? we thought he is happy, especially after securing the editor position. Lagi pun, the mr-yes-man is also known to be part of or siding the 'dark' forces. Apa benda Tony and Frankie cakap, angguk saja. kita orang yang merana.

  64. Anonymous9:40 pm

    Yushaimi leaving? No way, jose. He cannot leave, otherwise where is he gonna put his face? Also, it doesn't make sense if he leaves although he is not totally needed by the new owner.

  65. Anonymous12:46 am

    I didnt know that Datuk Ibrahim Nor is an Indian but Muslim. Now i know so many hindraf in MM... Long live Hindraf

  66. Anonymous7:58 pm

    To Datuk Ibrahim and Tony Francis,

    More staff will be leaving soon. Most are contemplating to resign en bloc by the end of this month.

    Do not see this as a good excuse to bring in your people. Instead, this is a reflection of your WEAK administration and organisation abilities.

    Many are leaving with heavy hearts and only you can change the environment for the benefit of all.

    Thank you.

    Minah Segamat

  67. Anonymous3:24 am

    some of your comments are so freaking irrelevant. u stereo types shud just start looking at things on a bigger picture. dont say indians are taking over. most indians do have a better command of english den the chinese and malays. we all knw it. dun hide from it. anyways, there are many suck ups in the malay mail. i know. but they got to earn a living. the ones who took over MM should have learnt a bit of media history before appointing who is to lead a paper onto greater heights from its dismal state. instead, he opted for opted for power crazy superiors who is not only a shadow of adolf hitler's shitty leadership attributes but as well as a face which mirrors the german basket. we already have the people for the job. they are right there in the office. its a pity that those people who are capable of positively administrating the whole place prefers to distance themselves from the politics of MM, of which is bloody annoying the daylights out of many the people linked with news,sports and advertising desks. the way it is being run right now. i dont see an improvement what so ever. not as long as the big bosses couldnt give a rat's @$$ for the welfare of the MM as a whole.

  68. Anonymous12:28 am

    Don't try and threaten me.

    With my 100 over years of experience I can run Malay Mail on my own.

    I don't even need Bill or Frankie let alone you pathetic people!

  69. Anonymous10:57 pm

    Don't be jealous! I shamelessly celebrated my birthday with a crowd half my age at the pantry earlier today.

    It feels good spending money on myself rather than paying the OT of my pathetic reporters!


  70. Anonymous9:34 am

    big changes are coming. look out for it next month.
    the first, is OT which now needs signature before and after it is done.

  71. Anonymous12:20 pm

    Tony it true not even a single person in office respects you??

    How can la? Adverts oso not coming in.

    And Ibrahim must be one lousy businessman for investing in a person who lacks command and authority.

  72. Anonymous12:08 am

    I am the boss and a born dictator. I'll keep grudges forever and make sure you all suffer!!!