Thursday, April 24, 2008


By: Teh Heng Hock, The Star, April 24 2008

PETALING JAYA: Tamil daily Makkal Osai will be back on newsstands this Saturday.

General manager S.M. Periasamy said the Home Ministry had renewed its publishing licence after the publication had appealed its earlier decision.

The newspaper ceased publication for a week after it failed to obtain a renewal on April 16.

Periasamy said he had received the approval letter from the Home Ministry at 9.30am on Thursday, and had paid the RM3,000 fee for the licence. He received the licence at about 4pm.

“The Ministry called me on Wednesday at about 5.30pm to tell me that it had approved our licence," he said.

Periasamy, who claimed he met Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar on Tuesday, said he was happy that the Home Ministry renewed the licence without imposing any conditions.

"We'd like to thank the Government for considering our appeal.

"We would also like to thank our readers, and our media colleagues for supporting us," he said.

Periasamy said Makkal Osai would continue to be a paper that looked after the interest of the Indian community.

"We will continue to be vocal, and continue to plan an important role in the development of racial harmony in the country," he said.

Makkal Osai has 102 staff, and Periasamy said no one had left or had their services terminated in the last week.

He added that the publication suffered about RM400,000 in losses because of its suspension.

Its chief editor M. Rajan said he and his staff would "run the paper more carefully" in future.

The newspaper started operations as Tamil Osai in 1981, and changed its name to Makkal Osai in 2005. It has a daily circulation of 52,000 copies and 95,000 on weekends.

Makkal Osai submitted an application for renewal on July 16, 2007, three months before its permit expired on Oct 15 last year.

The day its permit expired, the daily continued publication with the understanding that the Government was in the process of considering its application for renewal.

Besides Makkal Osai, the other two Tamil dailies are Tamil Nesan and Malaysia Nanban.

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