RM10,000 raised for @Kini at Chilli Rush dinner

Last night’s fund-raising dinner for Malaysiakini’s new premises in Petaling Jaya – @Kini – was a huge success, netting more than RM10,000.

The keynote speaker, Malaysiakini’s 2012 Newsmaker of the Year Ambiga Sreenevasan entertained more than 50 guests gathered at the Chilli Rush restaurant at Jaya One in Petaling Jaya.

The event saw the sale of 10 bricks at RM1,000 each and donations worth several thousand ringgit.

Ambiga delivered a talk on ‘Lessons from Bersih’, in which she impressed the audience with her three-year experience in leading arguably the largest civil society movement in the country.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 3.38.14 PMAmbiga said support for a free media is a must for the road to a free and healthy democracy.

“I really cannot imagine Malaysia without Malaysiakini.

“This whole idea of buying a brick to me is so symbolic because you are not just buying a brick, you are investing in the future of this country, you are investing for a pillar of democracy, an independent and free press,” she said.

The former Bar Council chairperson said Bersih has gained mammoth support from the people because it is a simple, easy to understand cause that appeals to the hearts of the citizens.

In order to fight for changes, she said, one should never give in to intimidation.

“We (in Bersih) learnt it the hard way. They (the BN government) threw everything at us, personally as well as a group. I think we won wide support because of the way we were treated.

“Once you give in to intimidation, they will use it over and over again against you,” she said.

Act as a watchdog, citizens urged

Ambiga also encouraged the people to act as a watchdog and take up active roles in their communities to work for a better standard of accountability and trust in the country.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 3.38.27 PM“Maybe we too should reach out, not just to the opposition but to the BN MPs as well. If they are the MPs in your constituencies, ask them, eyeball to eyeball, is this what they want for their children?”

One of those present, Tan Yong Wei, 23 (left), came clad with the once banned Bersih T-shirt and said he thinks the younger generation should fight for the betterment of the country and support independent media.

“We can get information freely online. We have to spread the true news to our friends, families and everyone around us so they will become more attentive to the issues and real facts about this country,” Tan said.

Mohmiandi @ Andi, 40, won in the bid for a special edition portrait of Ambiga, made with pins.

Screen Shot 2013-11-28 at 3.38.36 PMAndi said he was inspired by her courage and leadership and vowed to follow her footsteps in helping to bring change to the country.

“Well, as what we heard from Datuk Ambiga, the only thing we now have is hope. Hope for a change. With hope, I think my generation can change the country, as how other developed countries are now,” he said.

Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran outlined the company’s ambition to spread its wings and become a beacon of the independent media.

“We want to do even more. We want to cover more areas, more languages and have a bigger presence in Sabah and Sarawak..

“Unless we grow the Internet media, and allow more people to read independent news, it will be very difficult for this country to change,” Premesh said.

RM300,000 raised in two weeks

Malaysiakini is seeking to raise RM3 million by Jan 15 through its ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign.

Since the campaign kicked off last Friday, more than RM300,000 has been received, with another 48 more days of fund-raising to go.

Each supporter will have his or her name embossed on a brick, which will be displayed on an ‘appreciation wall’ in the new building.

In addition, supporters will receive Malaysiakini subscriptions and advertising equal to the amount contributed.

The new building, @Kini, is located in Section 51 of Petaling Jaya and will have nearly double the space available at the existing Malaysiakini office in Bangsar Utama.

It will also provide space for public forums, training programmes and exhibitions.

Please click here for more information on how you can get involved.

Buy a brick, help build a home for Malaysiakini

Source: http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/247809

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