In Solidarity with Malaysiakini

November 6, 2016

In Solidarity with Malaysiakini

A few years ago, I had the privilege  as a Fellow of Seacem Center of working with both Premesh Chandran and Steven Gan and the group of outstanding journalists at Malaysiakini. I found them to be a group of thorough, brave, loyal and hardworking Malaysians who were bringing news and views about issues affecting our country.

I learned first hand what they had to go through to bring to us timely and accurate information about what is happening in, and to our country and elsewhere.  Everyday, when I arrived at my work place at Malaysiakini office then in Bangsar Baru, Kuala Lumpur I would pass the wall of their rented premises which was blemished by red paint marks sprayed by pro-UMNO lawbreakers. I would be reminded of the hazards these committed journalists face daily. Since that time, I came to admire and respect their courage for speaking the truth to power and their commitment to the highest standards of journalistic reporting.

Like them, I never shied away from speaking the politically inconvenient truth and like them I will through my blog, twitter and Facebook accounts and other peaceful means hold men and women in positions of power– be they in  politics, public administration,  and business–to account for their decisions and actions. Threats and intimidation would not work with us.

Today, Gan, Chandran and their team are facing existential threats from UMNO-sponsored and Najib-supported Red Shirts led by that despicable. irresponsible,  and racist Jamal Ikan Bakar Yunos.

By threatening the news portal, the Red Shirts are breaking the law. But as things stand today, the hooligans are above the law because they are connected to UMNO, which controls the levers of power in Malaysia. Even our Inspector-General Police has no guts to stand up to the Red Shirts.

Image result for Din Merican and Kamsiah Haider at Bersih

Together my wife Dr. Kamsiah. G. Haider, I stand in solidarity with Premesh Chandran and Steven Gan and the Malaysiakini team. They deserve our support for doing their job splendidly.

I hope you, my loyal readers and friends around the world, will also stand up for Malaysiakini and freedom of the press. We all face existential threats from forces more powerful than us, but let us be reminded by William Shakespeare that “cowards die a thousand times”. –Din Merican

Malaysiakini controlled by its journalists, not outsiders

by Zikri Kamarulzaman

 Malaysiakini is under the full control of its journalists and editors, not its investors or outsiders, said the independent news portal editor-in-chief Steven Gan.

“When it comes to outsiders or even Malaysiakini shareholders influencing our editorial, that is completely impossible,” Gan said at a press conference following the red-shirts rally outside the news portal’s office in Petaling Jaya today.

Gan said even the Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF), which owns 29 percent of Malaysiakini, had no say in the website’s editorial policy.

He explained that the two had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) when the venture capital made the investment 10 years ago, agreeing that the latter would have “no editorial say” in Malaysiakini.

Gan was responding to red-shirts leader Jamal Md Yunos, who said Malaysiakini’s editorial was not independent and that it bowed to the will of American business magnate George Soros.

Soros’ Open Society Foundations (OSF) is one of 50 MDIF investors and funders, which include a number of European banks. Malaysiakini had also received funds from the OSF for two KiniTV news programmes in Sarawak.

Gan said the real influencers in Malaysiakini’s editorial policies are its journalists.

“We have daily meetings, and all Malaysiakini journalists and editors decide on what to report and follow up on,” he said.

Image result for Premesh Chandran

Elaborating on the company’s shareholders, Gan said that he and Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran (above) were the majority shareholders, a total of 59 percent. Besides the 29 percent owned MDIF, 12 percent are owned by Malaysiakini staff.

Meanwhile, he said there was only one politician among the scores of shareholders in Malaysiakini.

Subang MP Sivarasa Rasiah, who is from the opposition PKR, has a very small stake after investing RM5,000 in the company 17 years ago when he was a human rights lawyer. “That was 10 years before he decided to run for Parliament. His share is 0.001 percent. It’s really minor,” Gan said.

Up to 700 red-shirts had turned up for the rally against Malaysiakini this afternoon, which lasted about two and a half hours.

The protest was spurred by leaked documents which allege that Malaysiakini, Bersih and Merdeka Centre were being funded by the OSF.

Jamal had originally wanted to hold a rally in Dataran Merdeka, but moved the location to Malaysiakini’s office after Kuala Lumpur City Hall denied both the red-shirts and Bersih permission to gather at the historic square.

6 thoughts on “In Solidarity with Malaysiakini

  1. Jamal said he was going to bring ten thousand Red Shirt, only managed a few hundred. His failure, his lying, bombastic talk all too similar to Najib and his bootlickers. Even as KJ joins in the lie, you can hear his reluctance.

    The stupidity of the Red Shirts is ALL THE MORE reason to push harder. MO1 is stealing again with his China deals to cover his 1MDB mess. We need the details.

  2. I am looking forward to a rayuan at Chinese Embassy.
    I am quite confident, as Chinese Malaysian, we will be disappointed.
    But, at least, this generation of Handsome Yunos can take note of how layu they can be, when he spilled blood. Mozi’s prediction of seven signs of a dying nation is more true than ever.

  3. Fully support your stand, Din. One of the ways to show our support is to subscribe to Malaysiakini. Our voice should not be stiffened by a gang of or paid and misguided thugs.

  4. Does the Jamal baboon even understand what is written in Malaysiakini? And does the IGP even care that thugs such as the Red Shits are a threat to public peace and safety which he is duty-bound to protect?
    Bullying and bathing the keris with blood is all that these Umno-types and their henchmen seem to understand.
    And it will be a sad day when creatures such as these are allowed to dominate and run amok just because of the cowardice of the IGP and the support of the thieves running putridjaya. Najib and his bunch of supporters must be pleased that they have the likes of Jamal to do their dirty work for them, while they quietly skim the country of its wealth.

  5. MALAYSIAKINI have been doing a remarkable job in bringing crucial issues to the attention of Malaysians…issues that would otherwise not have been available… But they cannot worm their way out of the fact that whenever any media organisation accepts funds from any source and then says this does not affect editorial policy, it takes credulity a bit too far… and there will be those who will have reservations… the obvious sincerity or objectivity of MALAYSIAKINI is not the issue here…

    This is the crux of the matter.

  6. I like to solidify behind the Malaysiakini I knew 5 ,10 years ago.
    Malaysiakini today has lost much of its brilliance and compass in journalism.

    That is no excuse for the Umno Baru’s red shirt or any rogue to take the laws into their own hands. PDRM should act swiftly and appropriately.

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