SEAM Preserves Malaysian Islamic Political Newspaper

March 16, 2008 edition of Harakah

Monday, August 20, 2012
Judy Alspach -

The Southeast Asia Microform Project (SEAM) recently completed the microfilming of the years 2002 to 2010 of the Malaysian newspaper Harakah. Ohio University contributed the holdings, with additional contributions from Cornell University.

As the newsletter of the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS) (or the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party), Harakah is neither independent nor unbiased. PAS is one of the leading rival parties to the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO), which has been the dominant political party in Malaysia since independence.

Harakah's reporting differs markedly from the view of the region's events afforded by the government-controlled mainstream press in Malaysia; the paper played an important role during the regions Reformasi period by providing an alternative voice. Circulation of Harakah increased during the Reformasi period, which led to a government decree that the papers could only be distributed to PAS Party members, although it was reported that the publication was still widely available at newsstands.  

Harakah also includes a significant number of English-language articles, which gives it broader appeal among some Malaysians of certain ethnic groups, such as Chinese and Indians, to whom the Malay press is not easily accessible. The title can be searched in the CRL online catalog.

The Impact of CRL

Nation of Islam Paper Featured in Documentary Film

CRL's extensive holdings in African-American newspapers proved useful to a documentary film chronicling boxer Muhammad Ali's politicization

Preserving News from Conflict Zones

CRL programs aim to preserve "first drafts of history" from zones of conflict throughout the world.