The New Straits Times is an English-language newspaper published in Malaysia. It is Malaysia's oldest newspaper still in print (though not the first), having been founded as The Straits Times in 1845, and was reestablished as the "New Straits Times" in 1974. The paper served as Malaysia's only broadsheet format English language newspaper. However, following the example of British newspapers The Times and The Independent, a tabloid version first rolled off the presses on 1 September 2004 and since 18 April 2005, the newspaper is published only in tabloid size, ending a 160-year-old tradition of broadsheet publication. The New Straits Times currently retails at RM1.20 (~36 USD cents).
The New Straits Times is printed by the New Straits Times Press, which also produced the English language afternoon newspaper, The Malay Mail, until 1 January 2008, as well as assorted Malay language newspapers, most notably the Berita Harian. The New Straits Times is part of Media Prima group of companies.
As of 1 January 2009, the Group Editor of the New Straits Times is Syed Nadzri Syed Harun, while Kamrul Idris Zulkifli is Deputy Group Editor. Executive Editors, as of 1 January 2009, Lee Ah Chai (News) and Chandra Segaran (Production) and Lim Thow Boon.
The paper was originally founded as The Straits Times and covered all of what was then British Malaya, and Singapore, where it was based. This continued when Singapore became part of Malaysia in 1963, but upon its departure from the Federation in 1965, a separate paper published and based in Malaysia the The Straits Times Malaysia, was established, whilst The Straits Times has continued publication in Singapore.
In 1972 the paper's then-owner, The Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad formed the New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. in a desire to meet the aspirations of Malaysians to have a majority shareholding in the company which produced their largest mass-circulation organ in the English language. An agreement was reached on 17 September 1972 between the directors of the Straits Times group and Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah for the disposal of 80 per cent of the stock of the New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd for the Malaysian interests.
On 11 November 2011, 3D publication was introduced to the paper's print and online editions. The newspaper also made history on 21 February 2012 when it became the first talking newspaper, promoting Dutch Lady's Friso product, followed by AXIATA's page number domination in 2013 and in January 2014 it promoted Wonda Coffee "through five senses" on five consecutive days.
2011 redesign and new logo
In 2011, the New Straits Times underwent a redesign of its masthead, typography, contents and logo. The first edition in the new format was published on 11 November 2011.
Tech&U, was first published on 1 January 1986 as Computimes, an information and communication technology (ICT) section of the New Straits Times. It was earlier published every Thursday, and in the 1990s, the section was published on Mondays and Thursdays.
On 1 August 2005 a decision was made to focus the Monday edition on the enterprise market while the Thursday edition focuses on the consumer market.
On 1 January 2008, Tech&U became a weekly publication, available with the New Straits Times every Monday with an increasing consumer slant while keeping the pulse on the enterprise scene.
Business Computing is also related to this section. It was a weekly section on Wednesdays, published from 1999 to 2004.
As of 1 March 2010, it has been incorporated and merged into the Life and Times section. The tech section in New Straits Times appears every Monday in the Life & Times section.
In 1999, this weekly pullout on travel in Malaysia was published in support of the government's Cuti-Cuti Malaysia campaign. It became the Malaysian weekly newspaper pullout dedicated to publishing travel and travel-related news and features and has remained till this day Malaysia's only weekly travel newspaper pullout dedicated to tourism. The first issue was released on 6 October 1999 and the first weekly issue was released on 2 October 2000. It was published every Wednesday when it started, and it was published on Tuesdays until 23 February 2010 as "Travel". Starting March 2010, it has been incorporated and merged into the Life & Times section. The travel section now appears on Thursdays.
The paper has incorporated the Business Times starting 1 June 2002, expanding its business section and increasing its appeal among businessmen. Prior to 1976, this is also the business section's name of New Straits Times. Not to be confused with the Singaporean newspaper of the same name.
The online arm of The New Straits Times Press group providing archived news articles, photographs, and PDF copies of the newspapers published by The New Straits Times Press (M) Berhad (NSTP). Since 2010, they use News and Image Bank website to provide archived content of the newspapers.
Life & Times
The segment was previously known as Leisure Times, Times Two and Lifestyle prior to 1994. From 1998 to 2004, the Friday edition of this segment was called Youth Quake after it was merged with the newspaper. The Saturday edition is called Weekend Life & Times, which was later known as 6, from 2005 to 2009.
As of 1 March 2010, the weekly sections in Life & Times are:
- Monday: Technology
- Tuesday: Health
- Wednesday: Style
- Thursday: Travel
- Friday: Showbiz
- Saturday: Living
- Sunday: Family
Niexter is a supplement targeted at school students. The supplement was published every Thursday starting in January 2009 and ceased in January 2014. Previously, NST has also used Berita Harian's education supplement and their own, such as Primary Plus (Tuesday) and The Next Step (Wednesday) for primary and secondary schools, respectively, between 2001 and 2004.
Political control and controversy
Owing to political sensitivities, newspapers from Malaysia cannot be sold in Singapore, hence the New Straits Times is not sold in Singapore, and The Straits Times is not sold in Malaysia. The ban was imposed before 1 May 1969 general election in Malaysia.
In 2012, Senator Nick Xenophon, an independent member of the Australian Parliament, was on a fact-finding mission to Malaysia when he was caught up in anti-government protests in Kuala Lumpur. Subsequently, on 2 May 2012, the New Straits Times published an article written by Roy See Wei Zhi and headed "Observer under scrutiny". The report quoted from a 2009 speech made by Xenophon and turned it into an attack on Islam, ostensibly to pit Malay-Muslim opinion against the senator, who was a known associate of Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim. In fact the speech had been an attack on Scientology and is recorded as such in the Hansard of the Australian Senate. Xenophon threatened to sue the New Straits Times for defamation and the newspaper quickly removed the offending article from its website.
The gaffe sparked media outrage in both Malaysia and Australia, and has greatly reinforced public perception that the New Straits Times and most mainstream media merely serve as propaganda mouthpieces for the ruling Barisan Nasional. As at 4 May 2012, Senator Xenophon has confirmed that he would sue the newspaper in spite of their apology.