Thursday, October 13, 2011

MalaysiaKini confirms talks with Malay Mail

News portal MalaysiaKini confirmed today it is in talks to sell content to Umno-linked newspaper The Malay Mail, with its founder defending the deal and saying it made good business sense.

The Malaysian Insider reported yesterday that the English tabloid is negotiating a deal with the 12-year-old news site to swap a stake in the newspaper for content.

MalaysiaKini editor Steven Gan denied today in a commentary on his website plans to own “a single share of Malay Mail or to surrender the ownership of Malaysiakini” but confirmed that talks are ongoing for “a simple content arrangement.”

Gan was forced to defend the deal and talks with The Malay Mail after receiving flak from readers over suggestions that his company would be going into bed with a company controlled by Umno interests.

The Malay Mail, which first began in publishing in 1896, is now under the Redberry Media group, a subsidiary of listed Ancom Berhad spearheaded by Datuk Siew Ka Wei.

Redberry is controlled by Siew and his partner Mohamad Al-Amin Abdul Majid, who is known to be a confidant of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

The remaining shares in The Malay Mail are held by businessman Ibrahim Mohamad Nor who had originally bought the newspaper from the New Straits Times Press.

It became a free afternoon newspaper in May 2008 but recently announced plans to revert to being a paid daily.

The Malaysian Insider understands that the deal with Malaysiakini involves the latter selling content to the newspaper.

Gan justified the deal today by pointing out that the money earned from the deal would serve its readership.

MalaysiaKini, which began in 1999, has been interested in the print media for some time and is suing the Home Ministry for a publishing permit.
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