The Malaysian Insight (TMI) has revealed that it would cease publication beginning this week to review its direction, news operations and commercial viability. In a note posted on its website, editor and CEO Jahabar Sadiq also added the move was due to the fact that TMI had missed a “major milestone” in launching a paywall. The publication’s page views traffic also did not reach the “targeted critical mass”.
“The decision to suspend publication in the interim is a difficult one, but was made due to the challenging financial environment faced by TMI and other media outlets,” he added. He also thanked TMI’s readers and employees.
A+M has reached out to TMI for comment.
Jahabar Sadiq is the former editor of online news site The Malaysian Insider, which ceased operations in March 2016. Previously owned by The Edge Media Group (TEMG), the now defunct news portal did not receive enough commercial support to keep it going. TEMG said it incurred losses of around RM10 million in the 20 months since it acquired the news portal in June 2014.
“We believe the recent problems [The Malaysian Insider] had with The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) had made it more difficult for a sale to be concluded even though discussions had started before that,” TEMG said.
The closure came after MCMC blocked access to the news portal in February 2016, on grounds that the site’s contents were allegedly in violation of Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998. This was soon after the site published reports on 1MDB scandal.