Tamil Nesan to close end January

K. Kabilan

The influence of MIC mouthpiece Tamil Nesan has waned in the past decade with the emergence of other Tamil newspapers. – Screenshot, January 28, 2019.

THE oldest Tamil newspaper in the country, Tamil Nesan is shutting down at the end of the month, citing continuous losses in the past 10 years as the main reason.

In a letter to its employees today that sent shockwaves, the Tamil daily said it will stop operations effective January 31.

The employees numbering about 60 have been told that they will be paid until March.

Owned by former MIC president S. Samy Vellu’s family since the late 1970s, the paper’s day-to-day operations are overseen by his son Vell Paari.

Sources said the family is no longer able to continue publishing the daily as a result of the rising cost of newsprint, falling advertisement revenue, and dwindling readership.

Vell Paari, when contacted, confirmed the daily was ceasing publication.

“We have been in the red for so long. I have been pumping my personal money to keep it running but it has come to a point that we can no longer afford to maintain the daily,” he said.

“We will make sure all our staff are paid their dues. We will not leave them in the lurch.”

The daily was established in 1924 as “Tamil News Tanthi”. For a long time, it has served as the MIC mouthpiece but its influence has waned in the past decade with the emergence of other Tamil newspapers. 

Officially, it has a circulation of about 20,000, but industry experts say the number has shrank to about 7,000.

Its demise leaves the newsstands with three Tamil newspapers – Malaysia Nanban, Makkal Osai and Tamil Malar. – January 28, 2019. 

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