HARAKAH, PAS’ official mouthpiece, is in deep water following its failure to pay arrears of about RM2.2 million to its printing company.
Its chief executive officer Zainal Abidin Kidam, who confirmed the rumours, said the weekly is trying to settle the debt and they will meet the publisher next week to resolve the matter.
“Yes, our outstanding payment to the publisher is RM2.2 million,” he said in a WhatsApp message to The Malaysian Insight.
News of Harakah’s financial situation has been circulating on social media and a blogger claimed that the circulation of Harakah newspapers has plunged to less than 20,000 copies.
He however refused to disclose details of the assets and the meeting that would take place next week.
“I don’t understand why business problems, which can be resolved, are making rounds on social media. Please don’t politicise this issue,” he said.
The publisher, Angkatan Edaran Enterprise Sdn Bhd, was tight-lipped over the matter, saying further comments would only affect the negotiations.
Harakah, founded in 1987, had once recorded sales of 400,000 copies a week at its height during the 1999 general election. Its portal, Harakah Daily meanwhile receives 70,000 page views daily.
PAS, which runs the Kelantan government, also has officials in the Selangor government’s executive council.
The Islamist party broke ranks with its allies PKR and DAP two years after a leadership tussle among its conservative and progressive factions.
Members of its progressive faction, which lost heavily in the 2015 party elections, have left and formed Amanah, a co-founding party of Pakatan Harapan (PH) alongside PKR, DAP and Bersatu.
PAS is leading a coalition called Gagasan Sejahtera Rakyat, which will contest the 14th general election against both PH and BN.
THE MALAYSIAN INSIGHT