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Drumming up a new beat - SPH launches a weekly English newspaper for the Indian diaspora

Singapore, 03 October 2008 - Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) will launch a new weekly English newspaper for the Indian diaspora in Singapore. Titled tabla!, the compact-sized paper will be distributed free. The first issue will hit the streets on Friday, October 10.

tabla! will be the 17th newspaper title in the SPH stable. It will be published by Tamil Murasu Ltd, the wholly-owned SPH subsidiary that publishes the Tamil daily.

Named after the popular Indian 2-piece percussion instrument that is synonymous with India´s musical and cultural heritage, the paper will strive to live up to its tagline - "The heartbeat of the Indian community". Aside from focusing on news on India, it will also provide Singapore news that concerns the Indian community here, which now comprises a growing number of expatriates.

The editorial content will include analysis and commentary pieces, a round-up of the past week’s news and happenings in the Indian sub-continent and also Singapore. The paper will also have a section on entertainment features from "Bollywood" and "Kollywood", and also cover sports that are popular among Indians, in particular cricket.

The tabla! team will be led by Rajendran Jawharilal, currently Deputy Editor of Tamil Murasu. He will be assisted by tabla!’s executive editor Pradeep Paul, formerly of The Straits Times Life! section.

While tabla! is a free newspaper, readers can get the paper delivered to their homes on Friday mornings for a delivery charge of $28 a year.

The newspaper will be available on Friday afternoons at the following locations:

  • Selected offices and banks
  • Business associations, trade offices and embassies
  • Indian schools in Singapore
  • Selected restaurants and country clubs
  • Airport lounges

Alan Chan, Chief Executive Officer, SPH said: “We are pleased to add tabla! to our stable of newspapers. Tapping on the growing interest in the Indian sub-continent and the rising number of Indian expatriates working and living in Singapore, tabla! will help us to expand our overall readership footprint. From the surveys we have done, we are confident it will succeed.”

S Chandra Das, Chairman of Tamil Murasu Ltd, said: “We are excited with the launch of tabla! as it adds a new product offering for the Indian diaspora in Singapore. We want to serve both Indian expatriates as well as Singaporean Indians. We can be the bridge between them, especially as India is now a major player in the global economy and one that has strong links with Singapore. We also want to make tabla! a compelling platform for advertisers keen to engage this target audience."

Rajendran Jawharilal, tabla!´s editor, said: "Our challenge is to cater to the diverse interests of the Indian diaspora here - ranging from current affairs to entertainment news, from personal finance to sports. From the surveys we have done, we are confident we have a niche product that meets the needs of both readers and advertisers."

Online users and readers outside Singapore can also access an e-paper version of tabla! (at available from noon on Fridays. The e-paper is an electronic version of the newspaper and will also offer advertisers hyperlinks to their product websites.

tabla! will be officially launched on Saturday, October 11, 2008 at the Overseas Indians Conference or Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD Singapore) being held at Suntec City. This event brings together about 600 Indian delegates from business, academia and governments. The conference programme can be found at

tabla! will also be launched concurrently at the Zee Carnival 2008 being held also at Suntec City (Hall 602 & 603) on the weekend of October 11 and 12. Bollywood star Shahrukh Khan is scheduled to attend the carnival, presented by Zee TV Asia Pacific Network. Zee TV reaches over 500 million viewers in 138 countries across 8 continents.

As part of tabla!´s launch, 4,500 copies of the paper will be given out with an exclusive photo card of Shahrukh Khan. SPH will also have a subscription booth at the Zee Carnival 2008 where visitors can sign up for home delivery of tabla!.


Issued by Singapore Press Holdings Ltd
Co. Regn. No. 198402868E

For more information, please contact:

Ms Chin Soo Fang
Corporate Communications Division
Tel: 6319 1216

Yeo Siew Chi
Assistant Manager
Corporate Communications Division
Tel: 6319 1586

Rajendran Jawharilal
Tel: 6319 6386


About Singapore Press Holdings Ltd

Newspapers and Magazines
Main board-listed Singapore Press Holdings Ltd (SPH) is the leading media company in Singapore, delivering news and information through print, Internet and broadcasting platforms. In Singapore, it publishes 17 newspapers in four languages. Every day, 2.9 million individuals or 81 percent of people above 15 years old, read one of SPH’s news publications. SPH also publishes and produces more than 100 magazine titles in Singapore and the region, covering a broad range of interests from lifestyle to information technology.

Internet and Mobile
Beyond print, the Internet editions of SPH newspapers enjoy over 150 million pageviews with 9 million unique visitors every month. Apart from SPH AsiaOne portal, SPH’s online and new media initiatives include a revolutionary mobile advertising and information service, ZapCode; online marketplace for products, services and employment, ST701; local search and directory engine,; STOMP (Straits Times Online Mobile Print), a portal that connects, engages and interacts with readers on the Web and via mobile phone messaging; omy, a bilingual news and interactive portal and The Straits Times RazorTV, a free access interactive webcast service offering live chat shows and video on demand clips.

SPH has a 20 percent stake in MediaCorp TV Holdings Pte Ltd, which operates free-to-air channels 5, 8, U and TV Mobile, and a 40 percent stake in MediaCorp Press Pte Ltd, which publishes the free newspaper, Today. In the radio business, SPH has a 80 percent stake in SPH UnionWorks Pte Ltd, which operates entertainment stations Radio 100.3 FM in Mandarin and Radio 91.3 FM in English.

Outdoor Advertising
In addition, SPH has ventured into outdoor advertising through its wholly-owned subsidiary, SPH MediaBoxOffice Pte Ltd, Singapore´s largest outdoor motion display advertising network media company, and a 35 percent stake in TOM Outdoor Media Group, a leading outdoor advertising company in China.

SPH owns and manages Paragon, the prime retail and office complex in the heart of Orchard Road, Singapore’s main shopping belt. SPH’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Times Development Pte Ltd, is also developing a 43-storey upmarket residential condominium, Sky@eleven, at Thomson Road.