Warta Malaya
Leading Malay Daily Newspaper in Malaya
Warta Malaya (8 February 1937)
TypeDaily newspaper
Founder(s)Syed Hussein bin Ali Alsagoff
  • Anglo-Asiatic Press Ltd. (1930-1933)
  • Warta Malaya Press Ltd. (1934-1941)
Editor-in-chiefOnn Jaafar (first)
Ibrahim Yaacob (last)
Founded1 January 1930
Ceased publication14 August 1942
Headquarters185, Cecil Street, Singapore.
CountryBritish Singapore

Warta Malaya (English: Malayan Report), also known as Warta Melayu was a Singaporean and Malayan Malay-language daily newspaper.[1] Written in Jawi script, the newspaper released its first issue in 1930. It later emerged as one of the highest circulating Malay newspapers of the 1930s.[2] The newspaper was politically involved in the early stages of Malay nationalism, and became a paper for the Kesatuan Melayu Muda, an early Malayan left-wing political party.[3] The final issue of the newspaper was published in 1942.[4]


Warta Malaya was printed by Anglo-Asiatic Press Limited, founded in 1929 by Syed Hussein bin Ali Alsagoff, part of the Alsagoff family at Singapore.[5] The first issue of the newspaper was officially published on 1 January 1930, at a price of 10 cents each.[6] The original edition had 12 pages, but within a month it was expanded to 16. On 1 January 1934, Anglo-Asiatic Press Limited was renamed to Warta Malaya Press Limited. Prices per copy were reduced to 6 cents each due to rising profits. The success of the newspaper led to the release of two weekly companions, the Warta Ahad ("Sunday Times") in 1935, and Warta Jenaka ("The Comedian") in 1936.[7]

The paper, characterized as "fiery and pungent", aimed to raise issues related to the Malay race and to alert Malays of ongoing events throughout the world.[8] The paper covered events in Muslim countries outside Singapore and British Malaya, and claimed to be the first Malay-newspaper to subscribe to international news agencies.[9] The paper discussed a wide range of issues affecting Malay rights, including education, political rights, and the economy.[10] The staff of the newspaper included future prominent political figures of both Singapore and Malaya. Former staffs include Onn Jaafar, the first president of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), Abdul Rahim Kajai, dubbed as the "Father of Malay Journalism", and Yusof Ishak, the first President of Singapore.[2]

In April 1941, Ibrahim Yaacob, a Malayan nationalist, and then-president of the Kesatuan Melayu Muda (KMM), bought the newspaper for use of anti-British propaganda.[11] After the Fall of Singapore in 1942, the newspaper was permitted by the Japanese military government at Singapore.[12] The newspaper ceased publications on 14 August 1942.[4]


The first editor of the newspaper was Onn Jaafar, who remained in his position from 1930 to 1933. He was replaced by Syed Sheikh Syed Ahmad Al-Hadi (1933-34), a notable leader in the Kaum Muda movement, supportive of progressive Islam under Islamic modernism. Syed Hussein bin Ali Alsagoff, the proprietor of the newspaper, took control after 1934 until 1941. Ibrahim Yaacob became the final editor until its closure in 1942.

List of editors of Warta Malaya (1930-1945)
Editor Appointed Departed
Onn Jaafar 1930 1933
Syed Sheikh Syed Ahmad Al-Hadi 1933 1934
Syed Hussein bin Ali Alsagoff 1934 1941
Ibrahim Yaacob 1941 1942

See also


  1. ^ Hassan 1963, p. 53.
  2. ^ a b Jeman, Sulaiman (7 November 1988). "The rise of Malay newspapers". The Straits Times. p. 6. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  3. ^ Kheng 1979, p. 94.
  4. ^ a b A M.Iskandar, Haji Ahmad (1973). Persuratkhabaran Melayu, 1876-1968 (in Malay). p. 23.
  5. ^ Hassan 1963, p. 56-57.
  6. ^ "Matter of Muslim Interest". The Singapore Free Press and Mercantile Advertiser. 17 January 1930. p. 13. Retrieved 1 February 2022.
  7. ^ Hassan 1963, p. 60.
  8. ^ Anthony C., Milner (2002). The invention of politics in colonial Malaya. New York: Cambridge University Press. pp. 265–266. ISBN 0521003563.
  9. ^ Hassan 1963, p. 58-59.
  10. ^ Yew Soon, Tan; Yew Peng, Soh (1994). The development of Singapore's modern media industry. Singapore: Times Academic Press. p. 20. ISBN 9812100393.
  11. ^ William R., Hoff (1994). The origins of Malay nationalism. Kuala Lumpur: Oxford University Press. pp. 166–167. ISBN 967653059X.
  12. ^ Kheng 1979, p. 101.

Works cited