It is also well positioned to advance into the borderless media world by embracing various media technology platforms in recent years to become the leading Chinese news portal in the country offering a wide range of editorial and media directions.
Unlike other century-old commercial enterprises, Sin Chew Daily, apart from having to overcome competition and market pressures, has also to operate in an unconducive environment where various restrictions are imposed on press freedom and readers' right to fast, reliable and independent sources of news.
The newspaper embraces a simple formula for success. However, in practice, it proves to be much more complex than those used by other centuryold enterprises.
For 80 years, Sin Chew Daily has been on a journey along with the nation; from the days of British colonialism to the formation of the Federation of Malaya, and later the formation of an enlarged nation of Malaysia. The newspaper survived the invasion of the Japanese Imperial Army during World War II and the subsequent three years and eight months of Japanese military occupation, and the bloody insurgency period of the Malayan Communist Party until its declaration to lay down arms.
Subsequently, as a result of its bold commentary on the government's policy in relation to Chinese education in Malaysia, its publication was suspended during a crackdown of civil liberties codenamed "Operation Lalang (Obnoxious Weed)" in 1987 by the then Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Our colleague, Liew Chen Chuan, or C.C. Liew, as he is more popularly known, is the country's unsung hero of journalism who has been leading the editorial team for almost half a century. He has this to say, "For decades, Sin Chew Daily has been able to surmount each and every obstacle that came along our way. We owe our success mainly to our team professional attitude and fighting spirit."
It is indeed an irony that the shutting down of the newspaper has partly brought about Sin Chew Daily's success. The closure forced the paper to re-invent itself; not only did it bounce back but it has become the industry's leader.
The underlying strength of Sin Chew is undoubtedly its irrepressible spirit and its uncompromising ethos. As Bridget Welsh, an assistant professor in the Southeast Asia Studies Program at Johns Hopkins University's School of Advanced International Studies in Washington D.C. observed, "The Sin Chew community deserves to be recognised for its collective human spirit."
It is the spirit of the Sin Chew team that is the genesis of this book. As the dictum goes, today's news is tomorrow’s history, hence, for those who have been loyal to their tasks, contributing their youth, passion, skills and professionalism to record the first draft of history for its readers, there should be someone else to record their very own stories as well. Lest we forget.
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