As a media organisation, Malaysiakini understands the need to be
transparent about its ownership structure and sources of funding.
Below we provide more information for those interested in these
Malaysiakini was launched in 1999 through seed capital from its
founders – Premesh Chandran and Steven Gan – as well as a number of
friends, and through a US$100,000 grant from the Bangkok-based
Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Seapa).
Malaysiakini takes great pride in its independence. Indeed, a truly
independent media in Malaysia is a rarity - one which is free of
government control, advertising dictates and pressures from its
owners, among others.
Malaysiakini strives for such independence through asking readers to
pay a subscription fee. We believe that a media which is reliant on
contributions from its readers and supplemented by a diverse group of
advertisers will be far more able to exercise its independence.
Both subscription and advertising contribute the bulk of
Apart from Malaysiakini's news operation, we have often been requested
to help independent media and NGOs, both in Malaysia and across the
region. After all, we have 11 years of experience in running a
successful online media, considered one of its kind in the world.
To pursue this additional aim, Malaysiakini raises funds from funding agencies.
Over the years, Malaysiakini receives grant support from a host of
agencies for its various projects. Apart from Seapa, these include:
- Asia Foundation
- Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
- Dutch Embassy in Malaysia
- Free Voice (FV)
- Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNS)
- International Centre for Journalists (ICFJ)
- Media Development Loan fund (MDLF) - also a minority investor in Malaysiakini
- National Endowment of Democracy (NED)
- Open Society Institute (OSI)
> From these additional funding, Malaysiakini has executed projects that include:
- The Southeast Asia Centre for E-media, which has trained and
supported online media organisations and civil society groups in 14
Asian countries. See www.seacem.com
- Citizen Journalism programme, which has trained over 300 citizens
from all over Malaysia in basic journalism and videography, equipping
them the ability to highlight issues affecting their local community.
- Komunitikini.com, which works with citizen journalists to develop
localised news portals. See www.komunitikini.com
- An online digital library, which provided resources for researchers,
and an online database on general elections. See www.digitalibrary.com
- Multiplatform journalism, which builds content across different
languages and on various platforms (IPTV, iPhone, iPad, Android,
Malaysiakini works with partners based on the following guidelines:
The foundations have to an established track record of sharing
Malaysiakini’s vision of a free press - one that reports issues of
public concern without fear or favour, and has the courage to hold the
powers-that-be accountable in order to promote freedom of speech,
social justice and democracy.
In line with the above, these foundations will not interfere with
Malaysiakini’s independent reporting in any way or form.
All grants are below 10% of Malaysiakini’s total budget to ensure that
the website is not reliant on any single source of funds.
Chief Executive Officer