KUALA LUMPUR – June 6, 2020: Plagued by worsening financial woes, New Straits Times Press Berhad may relocate its newsroom from Bangsar to its printing plant in Bukit Jelutong, Shah Alam, next year.
NSTP publishes three newspapers — New Straits Times, Berita Harian and Harian Metro.
A source said NSTP currently has to pay a hefty monthly lease after its owner, Media Prima Bhd, sold two plots of freehold land to PNB Development Sdn. Bhd. in August 2018.
This is where the group’s head office, Balai Berita, is located.
The lots in Bangsar were among four properties sold to PNB. The other two are freehold industrial lots Shah Alam which house the printing plant.
In an August 2018 filing to Bursa Malaysia, Media Prima mentioned that the condition of the sale was for NSTP to rent the properties from PNB for three years at RM720,082 per month in Bangsar and RM660,326 per month in Shah Alam.
Media Prima has for years been bogged down by losses and apart from selling off its assets, the company has done three rounds of retrenchment after the May 9, 2018, national elections.
Under a manpower rationalisation plan, Media Prima will by the end of this month retrench 1,033 employees, after doing so in November 2018 to affect 190 staff.
The following two layoffs – in March and the latest one – came after businessman Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary tightened his control on the company by raising his stake to 31.22 per cent last September.