Kuala Lumpur, Apr.18 : The Malaysian Government has decided not to renew the licence of the Tamil daily Makkal Osai because it has breached some of its licensing guidelines.
Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said each newspaper was reviewed on a yearly basis in terms of its contribution to society with regards to nation building and a more united Malaysia, and it was found that there had been many complaints against the Makkal Osai.
According to The Star, Albar rejected suggestions that the permit was not renewed because the daily had published too many opposition stories.
"So, when the time comes for renewal, the Home Ministry officials decided not to renew it," he told reporters at a press conference after a visit and briefing at the Civil Defence Department on Thursday.
He said if the newspaper was not satisfied with the decision, it could appeal "and we will then look at it again."
On Wednesday, Makkal Osai received a letter from the Home Ministry expressing regret that it was not renewing its licence.
The newspaper, which is aligned to MIC former deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam, started operations as Tamil Osai in 1981 but changed its name in 2005.
DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng expressed disappointment that the Home Ministry had rejected the renewal of Makkal Osai's publishing permit.
"The Federal Government is always talking about winning back the hearts of the Chinese and Indian communities.
"Is this one of the ways they intend to do it?
"If this (the rejection of permit renewal) happens to a Tamil daily today, what makes you think it will not happen to English, Malay or Chinese newspapers tomorrow?" Lim said in Penang.