Many Parts Of Speech (POS) taggers for the Malayalam language has been implemented using Support Vector Machine (SVM), Memory-Based Language Processing (MBLP), Hidden Markov Model (HMM) and other similar techniques. The objective was to find an improved POS tagger for the Malayalam language. This work proposed a comparison of the Malayalam POS tagger using the SVM and Hidden Markov model (HMM). The tagset used was the popular Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) tag set. A manually created data set which has around 52,000 words has been taken from various Malayalam news sites. The preprocessing steps that have done for news text are also mentioned. Then POS tagging has been done using SVM and HMM. As POS tagging requires the extraction of multiple class labels, a multi-class SVM is used. It also performs feature extraction, feature selection, and classification. The word sense disambiguation and misclassification of words are the two major issues identified in SVM. Hidden Markov Model predicts the hidden sequence based on maximum observation likelihood which reduces ambiguity and misclassification rate. © 2021, The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.