Utusan Malaysia is a Malaysian newspaper that provides information to its readers about local news, sports, entertainment, fashion, medicine and technology.
Utusan Malaysia got its start in Singapore in 1939, when Malaysia was still a British colony. The paper was originally published in Jawi, an Arabic alphabet adapted for the Malay language. Although the paper now uses Romanized letters, it still publishes a weekly supplement in Jawi. Initially, the Utusan Malaysia was a popular place for native Malaysians to express anti-colonial sentiment.
In 1958, after Malaysia gained independence from the British, Utusan Malaysia moved its headquarters to Malaysia’s capital, Kuala Lumpur. In 1961, the previously independent newspaper was taken over by the United Malay National Organization (UMNO), the largest political party in Malaysia.
In 1997, Utusan Malaysia became the first online Malaysian newspaper. Today, online versions of the paper are available in both Malay and English. To see a copy of Utusan Malaysia, go to Utusan.com.my.
As of 2005, Utusan Malaysia had a readership of nearly 1.5 million people and was by far the best selling daily newspaper in the Malay language.
In spite of its popularity, however, Utusan Malaysia is not without its critics. It has recently faced strong condemnation for its openly racist rhetoric against non-Malays and non-Muslims. Critics claim that these attacks have gotten more extreme since the UMNO-backed Badawi Administration came to power in 2003. Badawi stepped down amid much controversy in April of 2009. It remains to be seen how—or whether—his exit will affect Utusan Malaysia.