The Malaysian Insider

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The Malaysian Insider
Type Online newspaper
Format Online
Editor Jahabar Sadiq
Founded 25 February 2008
Political alignment Opposition
Headquarters Bangsar, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The Malaysian Insider (also known as TMI, The Insider, or Malay Ins Ins) is a popular Malaysian bilingual news site. It has consistently ranked as one of the 100 most popular websites in the country, in addition to having a strong following in Singapore. In June 2009, Alexa ranked The Insider as the 57th most popular website in Malaysia.[1] estimated that almost 19,000 unique visitors visited the website in April 2009.[2]


The Malaysian Insider was established by Png Hong Kwang and Sreedhar Subramaniam in December 2007. Png is a journalist, and Subramaniam is the former Chief Operating Officer of the free-to-air Malaysian TV channel ntv7. A group of businessmen and journalists close to former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi started TMI as a counter to MalaysiaKini, which was deemed unfriendly to the Barisan Nasional (BN).

When Abdullah resigned in 2009, BN stopped financing the news agency. After talking to several connections, TMI top management re-secured funding with help from a 30-something Penang-born businessman with close ties to the current BN leadership.[3]

The organization is now led by Chief Executive Officer and Editor Jahabar Sadiq, who has worked as a journalist in the region since 1988.[4]

Since June 2014, The Malaysian Insider has been part of The Edge media group.


The Insider aims to report an "unvarnished take on events and personalities in Malaysia."[4]

The editorial generally maintains a critical stance against both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat, although it has lately been more critical of Pakatan Rakyat. During the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis in which Barisan Nasional managed to topple the Pakatan Rakyat state government, TMI published several hard-hitting editorial pieces calling for the dissolution of the state assembly.


While the news site runs multiple sections from business to entertainment, political news and commentaries dominate attention.

The organisation houses a group of reporters who produce the bulk of its leading domestic news content. To complement the in-house reporters, The Insider reproduces syndicated material from other established mainstream news organisations like Bernama, Reuters, and Associated Press.

Columnists and Contributors[edit]

The Insider maintains a large roster of columnists from diverse backgrounds. The majority of columnists do not share the same political positions as Barisan Nasional. Several of the more notable columnists are the member of the Selangor state assemblyman and political secretary to the Selangor Menteri Besar Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, DAP Member of Parliament Liew Chin Tong, PAS MP Khalid Abdul Samad, UMNO MP Nur Jazlan Mohamed and a former Special Officer to Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Ziad Razak.[5]

Apart from the regular columnists, The Insider publishes letters from readers as well as blog entries.[6]


In 2009, The Insider published two books. Both compiled selected writings from its columnists.


Defamatory Content and Legal Suit[edit]

On 12 August 2015, TMI was sued by then Menteri Besar of Selangor, Khalid Ibrahim for publishing defamatory articles regarding his claiming he had partaken in a dubious out-of-court settlement with Bank Islam. Khalid is seeking an injunction and retraction of the articles published on 24 July, in addition to an undisclosed amount in damages.[7][8][9][10][11] The hearing of the case has been set for 2 June 2015.[12]

On 30 January 2015, the news portal, together with Lim Guan Eng and Malaysiakini, was sued by Penang UMNO secretary, Datuk Musa Sheikh Fadzir, Maison Height Sdn Bhd and Penang Barisan Nasional secretary Datuk Omar Faudzar[13] for publishing defamatory articles on the alleged sale of Malay lands for profit. In the claim statement, the plaintiffs referred to an article written by Lim titled "Pembohongan Umno" (Umno’s lies), which was published in The Malaysian Insider on 27 November 2014, and another article titled "Stop spreading lies about Penang government, Guan Eng tells Umno”[14] which was also published in the same news portal on 27 November. The plaintiffs stated that Lim, Mkini and Gan had caused the publication of another article “Umno made profits by selling Malay Kampungs”, containing defamatory words in Malaysiakini.[15][16][17]

Accusations of Bias[edit]

UMNO accused The Insider of biased reporting. The party barred The Insider as well as several online news organisations from covering its general assembly held in Kuala Lumpur in 2009.[18]


The Malaysia Insider has an extensive record of publishing fake and unverified news throughout its publications.

On 31 May 2011, the news portal published an article that contained defamatory words towards former MAS chairman, Tan Sri Tajuddin Ramli. Three months later, the news portal published a public apology to Tajudin.[19][20][21] However, he did not find the apology sufficient and filled a legal suit on 18 August in Kuala Lumpur Civil Court for RM 200 million.[22][23] The suit was settled out of court a month later.[24][25][26]

On 19 October 2013, TMI issued an apology to Menteri Besar of Kedah, Dato' Seri Mukhriz bin Mahathir over its report, alleging Mukhriz of using money politics during the 2013 UMNO election.[27][28]

On 7 March 2015, a superimposed photo of demonstrators deemed to be staged in front PAS headquarters were published. The demonstrators, in the photo have demanded PAS president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang to step down. PAS Chief of Information, Datuk Mahfuz Omar demanded an apology from the news portal for publishing a fake photo.[29] A day later, the news portal publish a public apology.[30][31]

On 25 March 2015, the news portal published an article that alleged the Conference of Rulers did not approve the proposal by Kelantan state's government to enforce hudud in the state. The news was later swiftly denied by Kelantan Chief Secretary on Hudud, Takiyuddin Hassan.[32][33] This news led Keeper of the Rulers' Seal to file a police report,[34] resulting in the arrest of three editors by the police and Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).[35][36][37][38][39][40]

On 12 July 2015, the news portal published an unverified report of Citizens For Accountable Governance Malaysia (CAGM) claiming that thousands of ringgit were plumed down from Prime Minister of Malaysia AmBank account to Barisan Nasional bank account prior the 2013 Malaysia general election.[41] Three days later, a blog post claimed to be belong to CAGM revealed that the news were fake. The group claimed that Md Zainal Abidin, the lawyer that signed the statutory declaration (SD) were not even existed.[42] Their action were fueled by their desire of "...making a social experiment...where them become famous due to (news) editors not checking their facts right."[43][44][45]

False News[edit]

On 4 June 2014, TMI publish a news that alleged Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) "raided" a Hindu wedding ceremony, due to a complaint that said a Muslim woman was marrying a Hindu.[46] A week later, Zarinah Abdul Majid, the Muslim woman, and MAIS, the head body of Jais, produced a statement that refuted TMI's report and accused it of sensationalizing the news and producing disharmony among the communities. Zarinah said that Jais had in fact done the investigation in a proper manner and respect towards her, her family and her guest.[47]

On 23 January 2015, an article regarding the appointment of University of Malaya (UM) Vice Chancellor was made public. The article suggested the UM Vice Chancellor for Students Affairs would have been replaced for being "weak and pro-opposition".[48] The Vice Chancellor, Datuk Dr Rohana Yusof, debunked the news in a Facebook post, in which she clarified that her portfolio had expired and she would not be replaced for those reasons stated in the article.[49]


  1. ^ Alexa. Accessed 24 June 2009.
  2. ^ Accessed 24 June 2009.
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  4. ^ a b "About Us". The Malaysian Insider. Retrieved 28 March 2011. 
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  6. ^ "Breaking Views". The Malaysian Insider. Retrieved 24 June 2009. 
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  9. ^ "Khalid saman portal berita Malaysian Insider". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
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  13. ^ "Penang Umno leaders and housing developer sue Guan Eng and news portals". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  14. ^ "BERNAMA - Lim Guan Eng, Malaysian Insider, MalaysiaKini Sued". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  15. ^ "Guan Eng sued over Balik Pulau land acquisition issue". NST Online. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
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  21. ^ "MACC clears A-G of graft allegations". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
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  23. ^ "Tajudin fail saman RM200j terhadap Malaysian Insider". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  24. ^ "Kes Saman Bekas Pengerusi MAS Terhadap The Malaysian Insider Selesai Luar Mahkamah". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  25. ^ "Saman RM200j Tajudin selesai luar mahkamah". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  26. ^ "Pihak dalam kes Tajudin saman Malaysian Insider mahu penyelesaian di luar mahkamah". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  27. ^ "Apology to Datuk Mukhriz Mahathir – The Malaysian Insider". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  28. ^ "The Malaysian Insider mohon maaf kepada Mukhriz Mahathir". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
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  38. ^ "Nazri: Laporan bohong, wajar tangkap wartawan". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
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  40. ^ "Malaysian Insider diserbu SKMM". The Rakyat Post BM Version. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  41. ^ "Jutaan dari akaun Ambank Najib disalur ke BN pada PRU13, kata CAGM". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  42. ^ "'CAGM' fabricates SD of AmBank officer". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  43. ^ "Cerita pemecatan kakitangan Ambank palsu, kata CAGM". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
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  45. ^ Amree. "Terbongkar Portal Sensasi Sebar Berita Palsu". MYNEWSHUB. Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
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  48. ^ "Dua TNC UM ditukar kerana tidak tegas dan pro Pakatan, kata sumber". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 
  49. ^ "Timeline Photos - Profesor Datuk Dr. Rohana Yusof - Facebook". Retrieved 11 August 2015. 

See also[edit]