Zam, Kadir, Johan and power struggles


Zainuddin Maidin has been a longtime friend of Mahathir Mohamad, a fellow Kedahan, and both shares conservative views on Malay and Muslim rights.


Zam’s journalism career began in 1951 as a “stringer” (part-timer) for Utusan in Alor Star, where Mahathir had his clinic. After 10 years as a stringer, he was appointed Utusan staff reporter and rose through the ranks, his career coinciding with Mahathir’s own rise, becoming chief editor in 1982.

Utusan Malaysia, owned outright by Umno, was the leading Malaysian newspaper at the time and known for its conservative stance on Malay rights and took provocative positions on non-Malay affairs.

Zam frequently wrote provocative pieces using the Awang Selamat pseudonym, which continues to champion Malay and Muslim supremacy in Malaysian affairs.

Zam and Kadir Jasin

He was a fierce rival of the New Straits Times and of Berita Harian, then under the editorship of A Kadir Jasin, who was close to Mahathir as well as Daim Zainuddin, with whom he had struck up a relationship while a reporter with Business Times.

Kadir was to rise to chief editorship of NST and BH, and even a part-owner of New Straits Times Press in a “management buyout” engineered by Anwar Ibrahim’s associates.

Read more at: