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New Straits Times

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New Straits Times
TypeDaily newspaper
Owner(s)Media Prima
PublisherThe New Straits Times Press (M) Bhd
Founded15 July 1845; 178 years ago (1845-07-15) (as The Straits Times)
(65377 issues)
HeadquartersBalai Berita 31, Jalan Riong, 59100, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Circulation30,929 (daily)
85,469 (daily E-paper)
(July–December 2018)[1][2]
OCLC number1167649590

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),[3] having been founded as a local offshoot of Singapore-based The Straits Times on 15 July 1845. It was renamed as the New Straits Times on 13 August 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 has been published only in tabloid size, ending a 160-year-old tradition of broadsheet publication. The New Straits Times currently retails at RM1.50 (~37 US cents) in Peninsular Malaysia.

As of 2 January 2019, the group editor of the newspaper is Rashid Yusof. In 2020, the paper was listed as the 5th most trusted in a Reuters Institute survey of 14 Malaysian media outlets.[4] The New Straits Times is considered a newspaper of record for Malaysia.[5]


Logo used from 2005 to 2011.

19th century[edit]

The Straits Times was started in Singapore by Armenian merchant Marterus Thaddeus Apcar who had already hired an editor and purchased printing equipment from England; the editor's untimely death would forced him to sell all his printing equipment due to bankruptcy.[6]

The buyer Catchick Moses, also an Armenian, established the American Sarkies and Moses Company and hired Robert Carr Woods as editor; it single-handedly edited and published its first issue on 15 July 1845. The paper was launched as an eight-page weekly, published at 7 Commercial Square using a hand-operated press. Woods acquired the paper as owner in 1858, also turned into an afternoon daily merging with Singapore Journal of Commerce and changing its name to the Daily Times. The name change was subsequently reverted in 1883.[7][6]


Singapore's separation from the Federation of Malaysia in 1965 made it untenable for The Straits Times to be headquartered in Kuala Lumpur. The impetus for relocation of the newspaper's headquarters to Singapore came from the Malaysian government, who found it unacceptable that The Straits Times and its subsidiaries, which had widespread circulation and influence in Malaysia, had nearly 70 percent of its equity capital owned in Singapore.[citation needed]

In 1973, Simmons, then chairman of the Straits Times Group, announced a restructure of the group. This resulted in the formation of two companies: the New Straits Times, which would be a Malaysian publicly owned company; and the Straits Times Press (Singapore), which would be responsible for the group's subsidiary companies in Singapore and abroad.

The Malay Mail Press Company Ltd. later became a public company and was renamed the New Straits Times Press (Malaya) Ltd. the same year.[7] The New Straits Times Press (Malaya) Sdn Bhd. ceased to be the parent company of the New Straits Times (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd in October that year, when Fleet Holdings, an investment arm of United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) and helmed by Junus Sudin, took over operations.[8][9] The newspaper name, which at the time remained The Straits Times, officially changed its name to The New Straits Times on 13 August 1974.[7]

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.[7]


In 2011, the New Straits Times underwent a redesign of its masthead, typography, contents and logo. The first edition in the format was published on 11 November 2011. This lasted until 31 December 2016.[10]


In 2017, the New Straits Times underwent another redesign of its masthead, typography, contents and logo.[citation needed] The redesign also brings new sections and improved news content. The first edition in the current format was published on 1 January 2017, in conjunction with the New Year. In addition, the website was also refreshed in March 2017, with an initiative for a stronger digital presence.[11]

2019 redesign[edit]

In 2019, the New Straits Times underwent a redesign of its masthead and cover design, which now assumes the ambition and scope of a daily newsmagazine.[12] The new design also features more stories on various issues of national interest, with an increased emphasis on the print edition of the newspaper.[13]

Incorporated sections[edit]


Previously known as Tech&U, the pullout 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 the New Straits Times, now known as Bots, appears every Monday in the Life & Times section.


Previously known as Travel Times, this weekly pullout on travel in Malaysia was first published in 1999 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 in March 2010, it has been incorporated and merged into the Life & Times section. The travel section now appears on Thursdays and is known as JOM! meaning Let's Go! in the Malay language. This new title is chosen to basically urge travellers to go out into the world and experience all its wonders.

Business Times[edit]

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 the New Straits Times. Not to be confused with the Singaporean newspaper of the same name.

Life & Times[edit]

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 5 August 2019, the weekly sections in Life & Times are:

  • Monday: Bots
  • Tuesday: Heal
  • Wednesday: Flair
  • Thursday: JOM!
  • Friday: Groove
  • Saturday: Pulse (As of July 13, 2019, the pullout has been discontinued)
  • Sunday: Vibes

School Times[edit]

Previously known as Niexter, School Times is a supplement targeted at school students. It is published every Tuesday.[14]

An earlier iteration of 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.[15]

Cars, Bikes & Trucks[edit]

Cars, Bikes & Trucks is the motoring pullout from the New Sunday Times. It aims to provide comprehensive details and reviews on almost every car on offer in Malaysia and written by some of the country's leading automotive journalists.


Lat is a long-time cartoonist for the New Straits Times, producing current, topical comics for Scenes of Malaysian Life.[16]

Following Lat's retirement, cartoonist Irwan A. Rahman has taken up the mantle of producing the paper's editorial cartoon, Wantoon Weekly, which is published every Monday.[17]

Political control and controversy[edit]

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.[18]

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 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 reality, 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,[19] 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 of 4 May 2012, Senator Xenophon has confirmed that he would sue the newspaper in spite of their apology.

Following Pakatan Harapan's victory in the 14th General Election in May 2018, the newspaper has adopted a more neutral approach in its editorial direction. It aims to promote the mainstream print media by giving fair space to unreported and underreported stories, and not only political ones that are sometimes, according to NST itself, "taking us nowhere".[20]


The newspaper took home 3 awards at the 2016 WAN-IFRA Asian Media Awards event,[21] and another 3 at the same event in 2018.[22]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "ABC Circulation Figures – July to December 2018 (Print Newspapers)" (PDF). Audit Bureau of Circulations, Malaysia. Archived (PDF) from the original on 20 October 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  2. ^ "ABC Circulation Figures – July to December 2018 (Digital Replica Newspapers)" (PDF). Audit Bureau of Circulations, Malaysia. Archived (PDF) from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  3. ^ Malaysia's first newspaper, the long-defunct The Prince of Wales Island Gazette, made its début in Penang in 1805. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 November 2009. Retrieved 31 August 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ Reuters Institute Digital News Report 2020 (page 99) (PDF). Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Archived (PDF) from the original on 31 May 2021.
  5. ^ Christopher, H. Sterling (2009). "A–C". Encyclopedia of Journalism. Vol. 1. SAGE Publishing. p. 108. ISBN 978-0761929574.
  6. ^ a b Mohd Dhari Othman (1992). "Malaysian Press: A Brief Account of Newspapers Published in British Malaya". Jurnal Komunikasi. 8. National University of Malaysia: 118.
  7. ^ a b c d "Corporate History". Archived from the original on 18 December 2019. Retrieved 5 January 2020.
  8. ^ "Straits Times subsidiary". The Straits Times. 5 September 1972. p. 9. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  9. ^ "The New Straits Times Press". The Straits Times. 17 September 1972. p. 1. Retrieved 14 May 2019.
  10. ^ Garcia, Mario R. (11 November 2011). "New Straits Times: It is 11-11-11 and launch day". Archived from the original on 9 April 2014. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  11. ^ "NST in 2017 and beyond: A message from the Group Managing Editor [VIDEO]". NST Online. 1 January 2017. Archived from the original on 27 September 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  12. ^ "The fight against fake news starts here ---- with us". NST Online. 7 February 2019. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  13. ^ Yusof, Rashid (4 January 2019). "Never say die". NST Online. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 27 September 2019.
  14. ^ Lim, Balqis (5 January 2017). "SK Ampang's Year Six students bury noses in NST's School Times supplement". NST Online. Archived from the original on 10 January 2022. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  15. ^ "BH Pendidikan | The New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Bhd". Archived from the original on 18 December 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  16. ^ Pilcher, Tim and Brad Brooks. The Essential Guide to World Comics. Collins & Brown. 2005. 125.
  17. ^ "Wantoon Weekly". NST Online. 17 June 2019. Archived from the original on 17 June 2019. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  18. ^ "Good sentiments towards Malaysians on the rise". Singapore-window.org. 8 May 2005. Archived from the original on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2012.
  19. ^ "Nocookies". The Australian. Archived from the original on 6 May 2012.
  20. ^ "NST Leader: The new national stories". NST Online. 19 June 2019. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 13 August 2019.
  21. ^ "Asian Media Awards 2016 Winner | WAN-IFRA Events". World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. Archived from the original on 11 June 2021.
  22. ^ "Asian Media Awards 2018 Winner List | WAN-IFRA Events". World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers. Archived from the original on 11 June 2021.

External links[edit]