PETALING JAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Razak has expressed his sympathy towards Utusan, the oldest Malay newspaper, which will cease publications on Wednesday (Aug 21), after a sustained period of financial uncertainty.
The former prime minister said although Umno had sold their stock interest in Utusan last February, the Malay daily "remained close to their hearts".
He added that Umno would definitely help Utusan's financial situation, if it was not for their frozen bank accounts, blaming the Pakatan Harapan government in the process.
"By law, the PH government should cease the freezing order of Umno's account and return the funds if there were no criminal charges within a year.
"Due to their political oppression, they have issued a civil suit to continue freezing those funds to trouble Umno and myself. Utusan was also victimised.
"If the PH government cease the freezing of Umno's account and return the funds that were illegally confiscated, we will help Utusan tomorrow, " he said on Facebook.
Najib added that Utusan should not put any hope that the Pakatan Harapan government will help the cultural treasure of the Malays.
All publications under the Utusan Group – Utusan Malaysia, Mingguan Malaysia, Kosmo! and Kosmo! Ahad – will cease all print and online publications.
The decision was made by the board of directors at a meeting earlier on Monday (Aug 19).
Najib also called upon the people to step up in helping Utusan.
"Let us all help bring back Utusan's glory days. The daily fought for us. Now it's time for us to help and fight for them, " he said.
Utusan Malaysia was first published as Utusan Melayu in Jawi in 1939 in Singapore.
Its office was relocated to Kuala Lumpur in 1959. The romanised version of Utusan Melayu, Utusan Malaysia, first started printing on Sept 1, 1967.
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