I've been reading Utusan Malaysia for a long long time. When I was young, it was also the main newspaper that I read aside from Berita Minggu and Bintang Timur, a newspaper that was sold in the northern part of the country. However, I still find the Berita Harian /Minggu a better newspaper in terms of coverage and and professionalism. But my heart was, is and will always be with Utusan. Utusan Malaysia is supposed to be the beacon of hope for the Malays . This is because to me it's the newspaper that every Malay should read. Utusan Malaysia should be echoing the pulse of the Malay community specifically and Malaysians in general. But sad to say ,I think this is newspaper is loosing its integrity and credibility. It is sad when Malay professionals and yuppies are shying away and feel ashamed to be associated with the newspaper. I feel that Utusan Malaysia is losing its shine. Below are some reasons why its loosing its shine:
1) I think the newspaper is too controlled by the government and UMNO. The issues that are played up are orchestrated by people who have vested interests in their political survival rather than the Malay community. I believed there are some of the good editors at Utusan but their hands are tied. And those at the helm running Utusan Malaysia probably have been fed handsomely by the vested party so as not to poke on sensitive issues that are politically incorrect to their political masters. Some of the editors' hands are knotted too tight to hi-light issues that are of genuine concerns to the Malays. Do you know why Chinese newspapers are read by lots of Chinese. It is because they know that their papers are not controlled by the MCA. They will boycott all newspapers that are owned by UMNO or MCA.
2) There's too much political issues that have been hi-lighted by Utusan especially on Opposition members . Utusan Malaysia has focused too much on negative issues on Anwar and other opposition members that they have a boomerang effect.Instead of hating these leaders, the readers tend to empathize with them. The old way (hitting hard on people you don't like) of winning the hearts and minds of the Malays don't work anymore. The newspaper has become a tool for a political party rather reflecting the interests and concerns of the Malay community. Hence, the Malays readers especially the young who are idealistic are shying away from reading the newspaper.
3) Utusan Malaysia is sorely lacking in editors who have inquisitive and critical minds-editors who are able to work independently of BN, UMNO or some elite who have vested interests in the newspaper. Utusan Malaysia needs these bipartisan and professional people to bring back impartiality and credibility to the newspaper. Otherwise it will become just like Harakah or the Rocket. It must be professional and should be a national credible newspaper.
4) Utusan Malaysia has been focusing too much on entertainment rather that more substantive issues such as education. This has caused a negative perception to be formed among some readers that it is not a newspaper that is to be taken seriously. Most of the complaints made or hi-lighted in the newspaper are not bothered and taken seriously by the government. The newspaper is seen as toothless.
I hope those concerned will take this matter seriously. The future of the Malays are in the balance. Utusan Malaysia must be given its voice back. It must be independent and credible.