Utusan Malaysia is one of the most important and renown newspapers in Malaysia, as it has a history of nearly 45 years. This publication is the main provider of news for the Malay people, who get the chance to read it in both a traditional and an online format. However, it was not the news and editorials that got Utusan Malaysia the popularity that it now has. Unfortunately, the reason behind it is the intense criticism that Utusan Malaysia got over time and the numerous scandals it was involved in. This is why the credibility of Utusan Malaysia had to suffer on numerous occasions.
Most criticisms came from the fact that Utusan Malaysia is thought to have political purposes, meaning that it only releases a certain type of political news. Also, Utusan Malaysia is often taking statements out of context, and thus it influences the opinion of its audience in a negative way. For example, the statements given by the Chief Ministers in Opposition-held states have been taken out of context more than once, thus manipulating public beliefs. Racism has also been of concern, as Utusan Malaysia has provocative headlines, especially towards the New Economic Policy. This is why many politicians from Malaysia have tried to boycott the newspaper and have filled numerous suits. Then, Utusan Malaysia is also blamed because it does not approach as many international news as people hope to read. Out of the total of 50 pages, Utusan Malaysia only allocates 2 or 3 pages to the foreign news section.
No wonder, thus, that people are unsatisfied with the newspaper. One of the most recent scandals in which Utusan Malaysia was involved was caused by the fact that the newspaper suspended the journalist Hata Wahari, who is also the president of the National Union of Journalists. The alleged reason behind this action was the fact that Hata Wahari had supposedly messed with the reputation of Utusan Malaysia, thus insulting its management. Although the criticism on Utusan Malaysia is harsh, people keep on reading it, especially since it is published online as well, and it also has an English version.