All posts by kcbuildingadm8

A journey of a thousand bricks ends, but…

Malaysiakini‘s journey of a thousand bricks ended last week. On April 10 at 4pm, we keyed in our final supporter for our ‘appreciation’ wall at Malaysiakini‘s new building.

A nationwide effort to raise funds from the public for Malaysiakini’snew building saw RM1.57 million raised so far.

Apart from the 1,000 people on our website who have contributed RM1,000 each for the 1,000 bricks, 104 individuals gave smaller sums amounting to RM21,964. Many individuals gave more than RM1,000 for their bricks, some as much as RM5,000.

  • One organisation that requested anonymity gave RM25,000
  • Two individuals gave RM50,000 each
  • One university gave a RM50,000 contribution

Gardenia and Innity gave a sizable sum each but requested that we do not divulge the exact amount.

Indeed, I felt really sorry when I had to tell an eager supporter that we had reached our target of 1,000 bricks. But since the support was so overwhelming and people are still calling the office to buy a brick, we have come up with other ways the public can continue to show its support to Malaysiakini.

While I have told a number of special stories about our supporters over the last few months, our last brick went to a woman who called up from Hawaii at 4pm last Thursday.

She said she bought a brick as a surprise for her daughter who has just completed her PhD. She sent the cheque some three weeks ago but her sister in Malaysia had informed her that her daughter’s name was not on the website.

I asked her to call up her bank because I was certain her cheque has not reached us.
However, since this was such a special situation, we gave our last reserved brick to her and she promised to send another cheque. She thanked us repeatedly for saving the last brick for her.

This milestone – 1,000 bricks – has lifted our spirits.

CEO Premesh Chandran (right in photo) said, “It’s a fantastic achievement. We are truly overwhelmed by the show of support from our readers.

“It’s clear that Malaysians are willing to invest in press freedom. It gives us confidence in takingMalaysiakini to the next level.”

While we had planned to move into our new building – @Kini in Petaling Jaya – in June, seeking approval from the local council for our renovations will take longer than expected.

We now see ourselves moving to the new office in September.

At present, we are looking into sponsorship for our office furniture and storage, air conditioning, lighting, telecommunications and Internet services, furnishing our studios, tiling and flooring as well as solar power panels.

Many organisations have come forward to help make this process not only easy but cost-effective. Most are Malaysiakini supporters. We are more often than not lost for words.

Tiles still up for grabs

For the next phase of our fund raising efforts, Malaysiakini will focus on approaching corporations for support.

While the 1,000 bricks have been sold to individuals, we still have 39 tiles going at RM25,000 each and 12 megatiles of RM50,000 left.

While many have told us that we have already pulled off a huge achievement in the fund raising campaign, the lofty target of RM3 million is still tantalising and we not ready to call it quits.

However, we will not forget individual supporters who have missed out on buying the bricks. They can still contribute.

“They can gather 25 of their friends to chip in RM1,000 each and we shall put all their names on the RM25,000 tile,” said editor-in-chief Steven Gan.

“Alternatively, Malaysiakini can continue to take in RM1,000 and every time we reach 25 names, their names will go on a tile.”

Needless to say, each contribution will come with a three-year subscription and advertising to match.

To the 1,000 people who have supported this project, we are requesting that you redeem your subscriptions and advertising at your earliest convenience. We hope to close this part of the project as soon as possible. For more information, please email:[email protected].

And for the RM1.57 million raised so far, we thank you for your support.

Finally, to my colleagues who have been incredible allies and pillars of strength, carpe diem!

Find out more about the ‘Support @Kini’ campaign.

98 Malaysiakini bricks left for the Wall

Two months before Nov 15, 2013 – when Malaysiakini kicked off its ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign – CEO Premesh Chandran saw in his mind’s eye a wall with names of 1,000 people on each brick.

This wall would symbolise the support for independent media in a country where the truth is often stifled.

Malaysiakini set an ambitious target of raising RM3 million for its new home (with the bricks contributing RM1 million). To date, it has raised RM1.47 million. While the first two bricks were bought by Malaysiakini founders Premesh and Steven Gan, we keyed in our 902th supporter this morning.

The end is in sight. With 98 more bricks to go, Malaysiakini would have its 1,000 supporters to build the appreciation wall of our dreams.

While the cash flow of the fund raising has slowed, the newsroom has been abuzz with the coverage of the MH370 tragedy.

Our journalists and editors are working on the stories surrounding the disaster around the clock with sometimes just three hours between their last email for the day and the next for the following day.

I am often in awe and admiration for my colleagues when I watch them trying hard to be objective in their dogged pursuit of the truth.

They are forced to leave their personal feelings out of this tragedy. They are forced to work on objectively despite feelings of injustice at not being taken seriously enough to have their most pressing questions answered. All personal opinions and points of views are shoved aside in an attempt to serve the public with the facts of what is.

It is indeed herculean task to put service of the greater whole above everything else, especially when the tragedy is an infliction on humanity, and not to sensationalise the tragedy and practice reverence.

While tiredness can bring about the temptation to be nasty to one another, in the office, there is a constant show of support. Especially when I was starting to worry that the fund-raising is slowing down, my colleagues made it a point to show support in gentle unassuming ways, which kept my personal fire burning.

I received emails, videos on bricks, funny pictures on bricks, or just a simple “Don’t worry, I myself could not believe we did this well…” from the bosses. It is enough to wake up again the next morning and give it my all.

Moving in September

Amid the chaos of MH370, individuals around the country saw it important to continue its support of Malaysiakini and its mission.

We received cheques, calls and visits almost every day. As we slowly climbed from 100 bricks to 900 bricks over the last four months and 10 days, some supporters quietly send us notes of support.

“Although you are yet to reach your target, this is already a tremendous success…,” one supporter wrote last week when he sent us his cheque.

Former minister and PKR leader, Chua Jui Meng, sent Malaysiakini a pretty little card which read: “You guys are now seeing the fruits of your steadfast commitment towards the cause of reforming our nation. You all persevered through adversity. God bless Malaysiakini.”

Malaysiakini is still waiting for the Certificate of Completion and Compliance (CCC) for the new building in Petaling Jaya which will serve as its new home. We expect this to be issued in the next few weeks.

After which, Malaysiakini will have to submit its renovations plans for approval by the local council. If everything goes according to plan, Malaysiakini hopes to move in, perhaps not in June as we had initially hoped, but at least by September.

A group of Malaysiakini enthusiasts came forward to help us with the move. Inter Grace Movers gave us a quote that we knew was an attempt to honour our pride which concealed deep admiration for our work.

They even offered to pack and move the bricks carefully for the wall to be built. It is always such a deep relief when people filled with grace step forward to offer their sincere help.

We once again would like to express our heartfelt thanks to all those who believe in Malaysiakini. We are truly excited about our new home and being able to share the experience with you makes it all the more worthwhile.

The flowers of tomorrow are in the seeds of today. The support we receive today, we hope, will ensure a better tomorrow – for us and for our nation.

For more information on the ‘Buy a Brick Campaign’, click here.

LYNN D’CRUZ is project manager of Malaysiakini.

Thanks for all the love… Happy Valentine’s

Mr Cher called the office; a kind gentle voice asked us if he could meet us on Chinese New Year’s eve. We had no idea that his visit would bring us endless smiles as we welcomed the Year of the Horse.

We were waiting for him when a humble looking middle-aged man with a firm handshake revealed that he would like to give RM50,000 for the ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign, which will help fund a new home for Malaysiakini. We were stunned.

For the sake of independent media in Malaysia, Mr Cher did not just sign away his money, he gave his complete confidence in us to do our job, and told us to keep up the fight.

In the 14 days since the ‘Cher Foundation’ sponsorship, we have raised another RM124,177.

There are 200 out of 1,000 bricks remaining, yet what we are deeply grateful for is the “enduring love” pouring in from the public.

Thus far, we have sold one tile worth RM25,000 and six megatiles worth RM50,000 and one anonymous donor who gave RM50,000 without even wanting a brick to his name.

Mr Sim, another man who was introduced to us by pastor Sim, aMalaysiakini supporter, one day send us a cheque for RM20,000 for a brick. He told us, “I would really like to get to know you guys better – may I pay a visit to your office?”

You’re most welcome, Mr Sim.

And while we were anticipating some complaints, especially since there has been a delay in giving out the subscription and advertising vouchers in return for the sponsorships, most contributors have been extremely generous and understanding.

We receive letters all the time, reassuring us not to be too worried about the vouchers and to take our time. However, we will be sending out the vouchers as soon as the 1,000 bricks are sold.

Some have gone out of their way to forward the brochure (PDF version) onMalaysiakini new building – @Kini in Petaling Jaya, Section 51 – to their friends and family members.

While there has been incredible support all round, there are people whose generosity cannot be put into words.

One man made a contribution naming his brick ‘For Stray Cats and Dogs’. Another bought a brick and said it should be named ‘For Toni Kasim’, in remembrance of the late social activist.

A young man in Singapore got 15 friends and together they bought a brick for ‘Malaysians in Singapore’. Another individual named his brick simply ‘Malaysiakini’.

Others have their bricks with the following words embossed on them: ‘Beautiful Malaysians’, ‘Friends We Love’, ‘Tindak Malaysian’, ‘Berani Kerana Benar’, ‘Bumiborn’, ‘Save Malaysia’, ‘Demi Adil & Maruah’, and ‘Anak Malaysia’.

RM1.36mil so far

We discover two things from our ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign – Malaysia is not short of people who truly appreciate independent media and many of them are simply selflessly generous.

The Citizen Journalist Malaysia movement in Johor sent us a few cheques amounting to RM7,000 which took us by complete surprise. They are ordinary citizens who wrote community stories on a voluntary basis for Malaysiakini. When we launched this campaign, they took it upon themselves to make a collection.

No amount of gratitude in words or in kind can match the astonishing amounts of “love” we have felt over these last couple of months.

Two of my colleagues came to have a chat with me the other day, and both expressed that they could hardly believe that we have raised RM1.36 million in a relatively quiet and short campaign. We have not aggressively pushed the campaign in public or hosted large fund-raising events, but people have been showing up at our doorstep.

We, who thought we were just doing our task as journalists, realise that it is not just a job. It is a mission – to help Malaysians reclaim their right to be informed despite our media freedom slipping further down the scales.

As today is Valentine’s Day, would like to thank Malaysiakinians everywhere for all the love you have shown us. We understand the importance of what it means to provide news and views that matter.

We had no idea we had such a huge following and strong support – but we do now. Because of your faith in us, we shall continue to fight the good fight.

For more information on the ‘Buy a Brick Campaign’, click here.

‘Addicted to Malaysiakini’, PKR reps buy bricks

A group of PKR parliamentarians from Selangor, Penang and Sabah have pledged a total of RM14,000 toward the cost ofMalaysiakini’s new office – and all because they are ‘addicted’ to its content.

They lauded the portal, which celebrates its 15th anniversary in November, for consistently producing “the best, most independent and the fastest news”.

“I have to admit, many of us are all addicted to Malaysiakini,” said Bayan Baru MP Sim Tze Tzin (left) said when handing over his donation to CEO Premesh Chandran yesterday.

“It is an honour to be part of this because we support independent news that’s worthy. Right now, there are many news agencies but seldom do we see one as committed (as this one) to press freedom and to (producing) independent news.

“I know many who live overseas who get the news faster than me … I think they are also addicted … so I urge them to also donate.”

Sim, who is PKR’s deputy national publicity chief, said he had lobbied colleagues to support the ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign, which aims to raise RM3 million for Malaysiakini’s new office in Petaling Jaya.

Sabah MP Darell Leiking (left) also said he frequently reads the website.

“I am proud that I can participate in giving something to the news portal that I have been addicted to for many, many years,” he said.

“I am not embarrassed to admit this because Malaysiakini has been consistent. During (general) elections, it has given us free news, so a lot of friends were able to access the latest happenings in politics.”

The Penampang MP had this advice for the portal: “Do not go to the other side. Keep impartial and carry on.”

Wangsa Maju MP Tan Kee Kwong (right) urged Malaysiakini to fight for “a better country, a fairer country” despite the occasional blows it has received. He was referring to action by the authorities over the content posted.

“To those who are in charge ofMalaysiakini, please continue this fight and we will try our best to spread the news to our business friends to contribute generously to your new building,” he said.

‘Do support press freedom, too’

The PKR parliamentarians who pledged RM1,000 each were those representing Wangsa Maju, Petaling Jaya Selatan, Kuala Kedah, Bayan Baru, Batu, Subang, Ampang, Kapar,  Teluk Kemang and Alor Setar.

Those representing Lembah Pantai, Sungai Petani, Pandan, Penampang, Padang Serai, Kuantan, Kelana Jaya and Batu Pahat pledged RM500 each.

Late last year, DAP parliamentarians had bought 40 bricks at a total of RM40,000.

“We would like to thank MPs who have come forward to support the project. However, we also hope to see more MPs from both sides of the divide contributing to press freedom,” saidMalaysiakini project manager Lynn D’Cruz.

Since the public fund-raising campaign kicked off on Nov 15 last year, supporters have contributed more than RM1.2 million.

Donors can buy a limited edition brick and have their name engraved on it with a contribution of RM1,000. Out of the 1,000 bricks on offer, fewer than 300 are currently available.

The bricks will be used to create an ‘appreciation wall’ in the new building, named @Kini. Part of the premises will be made available for public use.

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


‘Malaysiakini is one lamp that must keep shining’

Since Malaysiakini published ‘Intoxicating ecstasy of Buy a Brick campaign’, the independent news portal has raised another RM130,000 from the public, bringing the grand total so far to RM1,236,200.

We ask our readers the reason behind their support for the project and Malaysiakini’s inbox has been flooded with responses.

Here are the few which best express the sentiments of those supporting the ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign:

Loh SH, age 65, retired from 30-plus-year career in financial/investment services

“I believe Malaysiakini tries to fulfill that independent press role. That alone is worthy of support. I don’t have much to say of the mainstream media except that none appears independent of political influence.”

Dato Lee Hwa Beng, 59, retired MCA politician

“Press freedom is a vital part of a democracy and Malaysiakini is the only one that dare to be free. So supporting this campaign is for our future.”

Lokman Salleh, 54, COO of a company

“Press freedom is a must for a truly democratic country.”

Antares Maitreya, writer, musician, blogger, Facebooker, jungle chef

“Co-founders Prem Chandran and Steven Gan were two career journalists with the courage, integrity and vision to see that an independent news source was absolutely crucial to the survival of whatever little democratic space remained.

“It was a bold undertaking fraught with tremendous risk, financial as well as personal. Fifteen years later, Malaysiakini has not only survived countless obstacles but has in fact thrived as a trusted purveyor of political reportage nobody else dares publish.

“Without the relative freedom of the Internet and a fearless and independent source of news, Malaysia would certainly have spiraled downwards into the abysmal depths of totalitarianism.”

May Chee Chook Ying, 53, homemaker

“We can only live in the light; Malaysiakini keeps our path well-lit. This is one lamp that must keep going.”

Myop101Malaysiakini commenter

“To be free, one has to be informed. Getting a brick is a small price to pay for freedom.”

KJ John, retired government officer

“A free media defines a freer country. I supported the brick campaign so that Malaysiakini can get a brick and mortar office to support their agenda to free Malaysia!”

Philip, retiree

“As a caring Malaysian, I valued truthful and independent news reporting of the nation. My contribution is a vote for unbiased freedom of news reporting.”

Ashraf Iqbal, 49, self-employed

Malaysiakini has proven itself to be worth supporting. As a nation, we do need a press that will report the news fairly…

“The comments section is a good gauge of the maturity and balance thinking of its readers. So I take it as a good proxy for what the urban middle-class Malaysian is thinking.”

Low Peck Chen

“I support the Buy a Brick campaign simply because I follow my heart.”

SF Young

News in Malaysia has been a pity,
Misleading the people terribly
The people are really thirsty,
For news that are fair and worthy
It has been a long wait for the mighty,
To report the news of reality
Bringing the bad to their knees,
That’s why WeSupportMalaysiaKini!

Timothy T

“I believe in the power of the pen that writes for the better without fear nor prejudice. I pray that the Malaysiakini pen will continue to be one for the next generation and generations to come. This is why I supported Malaysiakini in this campaign.”

Teo Nie Ching, 33, Kulai parliamentarian

“Support Malaysiakini as we need journalists whose hands are not tied to supervise both BN and PR.”

Mocking YouMalaysiakini commenter

“Spending the RM1,000 on something that may be beneficially lasting to many is way better than indulging own self, be it a five minutes thrill or a bottle that gives nothing but a hangover.”

Dr Peter Jesudason, cardiologist

Malaysiakini is for me a beacon of journalism because it is editorially independent. Malaysiakini presents news in a fearless but more importantly, in an honest and for the most part, balanced manner.”

Solomon Morais, 56, creative director

“A brick that stands for a change for good.”

Prodyut Dutt, 56

“I do not always agree with Malaysiakini, but I do not doubt their integrity and the importance of having a credible alternative voice in our country.”

Hannah Yeoh, 35, Selangor speaker and Subang Jaya state assemblyperson

“If we do not support Malaysiakini, one-sided mainstream news will prevail and Malaysia will return to her former days. And I do not want that.”

Stephen Leong, businessman

“I strongly support the ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign, because I believe that through Malaysiakini’s open and truthful publication we will see a new and better Malaysia moving towards freedom from injustice and corruption.”

Rev Dr Tan Kim Sai, 64, retired pastor and scholar

“ I see Malaysiakini as a social justice venture which has contributed significantly to the building of a more just and open civic society in Malaysia through the effective dissemination of news and views which really matter. I wish to see Malaysiakinigrow from strength to strength in years to come.”

CC Leong

“At present the reporting from the main media which is controlled by the governing party, is not reliable. They are full of propaganda reporting. We very much needed a media which can report the truth for the public to know.

“Having one’s own building, Malaysiakini can have the piece of mind to work freely without having to face the problem of eviction. We have been reading Malaysiakini since its inception and find it very enlightening to hear the truth…”

Dr Leong Shown Chong, 61, physician

“I believe Malaysiakini will be instrumental in nation-building. Provide a platform for the seekers of truth and the oppressed. That it will analyse and report without fear or favour. Believes that the truth will set us free…” funders

“Supporting Malaysiakini is also supporting the freedom of speech. I support Malaysiakini for the same reason that I support freedom of speech, democracy and human rights.

So, when Malaysiakini announced that it needs a new home, we at quickly jumped in at this opportunity by sponsoring Malaysiakini a brick worth of RM1,000.”

Tai Hean Kiat, a diehard supporter of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the Prince of Peace

“I’ve supported the Malaysiakini campaign because, as an ‘anak’ Malaysia and a netizen of this global village, we deserve the right to have access to world-class information that is collected and written impartially and professionally.

“Let’s contribute a brick no matter how insignificantly it may seem, but it shall bring about the cracking of the great wall of censorship that has long shackled the human spirit in ignorance and fear, through a lack of freedom of information.”

Supporters in kind

Malaysiakini would also like to thank those who have come forward to offer help in kind.

We have had people offering to help sponsor the cement, pests control, signage and electrical works. A number of companies have come forward with special rates for the air-conditioning, office furniture and painting.

We will soon be looking for contractors with the best bid for the renovations of @Kini – Malaysiakini’s new building at Section 51 in Petaling Jaya. We hope to move into our new home by the middle of this year.

And there are 270 bricks left!

Malaysiakini will close the ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign when we hit the target of selling 1,000 bricks for an ‘appreciation wall’ in the new building.

For more information on the campaign, click here.


Intoxicating ecstasy of ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign

COMMENT The phone rang again for the umpteenth time a month into the launch of Malaysiakini’s ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign. A nervous voice came on asking to speak to the brick person.

“Hi, this is Lynn, the brick person…”

“Okay, hello! I’m not sure what to say. You see, I am studying in Perak. I want to buy a brick. I’m not rich. I have no money but I think it is important for me to do this.”

More often than not, I am completely lost for words. The boy is 22 years old. He told me that he is studying and working part-time to collect money for his brick and needs more time.

“I have already collected RM700. You wait for me, okay.”

I promised to wait. I put down the phone and allowed a wave of tears to wash over me.

Malaysiakini does not belong to us, but to the public.

1Having started this campaign with gusto and optimism, we were initially thinking about just moving to a new place so that we could grow our operations. However, we were about to be shown the true sentiments of the Malaysian public. This was not something we were entirely prepared for.

On Nov 15, 2013, the first day we launched the campaign, RM22,000 poured in and we filled up over 50 pledge forms. Today we have over 600 people who have come forward to help the cause.

However, the jewels of the campaign are in the individual stories.

A better place

An elderly man wrote in and asked if he could place the names of his late father and mother-in-law on the brick. I assured him that this was not a problem. He said, “I want them to be remembered in a good place. Malaysiakini is a good place.”

We have had senior citizens who can hardly walk climb up our stairs, come into the office and sign cheques for the campaign. One woman, immaculately dressed and well in her 70s, said, “This is a horrible place to work, so dangerous, you guys need to work in a better place…”

She goes on to share how she does not read anything other than the news from Malaysiakini. Before she left she said, “Don’t worry, you will get your money. The public will support you.”

2Indeed, the public has showed up for us loud and clear. We have four corporate organisations who took up the bigger sponsorship but wanted us to be discreet about their contribution. Almost 70 percent of the funds raised were from individuals from all over the world. We have had Malaysians in Germany, Sweden, Australia, Singapore, Japan, United Kingdom, United States, and India supporting the cause.

Some of the supporters are thrilled that we are doing this; they make unannounced appearances at the office to take a picture with their brick. We are happy to have our supporters visit the Malaysiakini office. However, the visit always ends up the same.

A supporter came with his son. Both, especially the father, were so wildly excited to be in the premises of Malaysiakini. “I am a huge fan,” he said time and again. “I want my children to understand the importance of independent media… I am buying a brick for each one of them.”

3The wild excitement will slowly give way to heavy silence when we take them on a tour of the office. Half of them leave shell-shocked and finally understand why having a new place is so important. Half of them leave saying things like, “I cannot believe you all work like this, the place is so cramped… and all those great news… from here?”

It is not that bad, I assure them. We are a family, a close-knit one. When there is the warmth of the family, all else fades into insignificance.

But through this campaign Malaysiakini is forced to realise that family is beyond the confines of our office walls. It includes the public who were relying heavily on what they believe in as the truth. We understand that our jobs have nothing to do with our own survival but for the preservation of a public which believes in us.

At the stroke of midnight

We see this with all the letters and hundreds of phone calls we received. One supporter wrote, “Thank you so much for executing my requests with such efficiency and your lovely note.

“We on our part would like to express our deep appreciation for your effort in establishing a truly free media. We are aware that so many of you are working under very difficult circumstances and still persevere.

“What is more encouraging is that more and more young journalists are getting more and more mature in the breath and depth of their reporting…

“As such, Malaysiakini has also become a very much needed platform for bringing up high-quality journalists in Malaysia, thus upholding the integrity of journalism in the country.

“Finally, to be able to do our little part towards your huge endeavour for a free press in Malaysia, the honour is really ours.”

As the clock ticked to 00:00 on New Year’s Day, a doctor from a remote part of Malaysia decided that he wanted to spend his new year banking in RM1,000 for a brick. I was moved beyond words.

Many people banked in money that day and we hit our first million target on Jan 1, 2014. The whole office was thrilled. We could not have received greater news.

Fifteen days into the new year and we have raised an additional RM100,000 from the public. We are truly grateful for every sen we receive and we will not give up on our ambitious RM3 million target.

We must say that we have been terribly lucky in finding our building’s interior designer, Ambrose Poh, and brick engraver, Ashley John. Both came to us without as much as an invitation. Both have been an absolute pleasure to work with. Both are huge fans of Malaysiakini as well.

Ambrose has worked with us over six months. He has spent countless hours working with the Malaysiakini team in understanding us and trying to invent a space that will accommodate best our varied personalities and the personality of the organisation.

4Ashley John is truly a miracle worker. We have called him and asked him to get bricks engraved on short notice and he has never once disappointed us. Diligently, every week, he and his workers would bring into the office – the bricks carefully wrapped in plastic cling wraps.


For a greater good

I have only ever organised two birthday parties, one of which turned out to be a flop. I could not really breathe when I was made to manage the fundraising and overall building projects.

However, I will forever be indebted to Malaysiakini founders Premesh Chandran and Steven Gan for having faith in me. They gave such an important task to someone with no credentials or experience in the field except for the fact that I myself love Malaysiakini with all my heart and want the absolute best for my colleagues who have have taken centre-stage in my heart these past few years.

We struggle so much in the world wearing masks and being what we think the world wants to see. So few and rare are the opportunities to be real. In Malaysiakini, we are allowed to be real. And because we are allowed to be real, we thrive magnificently.

For this fundraising, my secret allies have been my bosses and colleagues. They have risen to the occasion and I have said this many times before, should I send out an email asking for help, within three minutes one of my colleagues will reply.

We sit together, we talk, we share our fears, we share our personal stories, we get ill together, we hold each other’s hands in the dark, we pull each other out of exhaustion, we cheer each other on – this is everything Malaysiakini. Many of us here have made personal sacrifices for what we believe to be a pressing need in the country.

We have missed parties, we have put holidays on hold, we have chosen to stay back late to the exclusion of a social life, we have our families missing us, we know each and every one of us has made personal sacrifices for a greater good.

We collectively know that what we do, we do in good faith and with hope that someday our children will reap the fruits of our labour.

We know none of what we do today is about us as individuals. We know that the only way to save this country is to make sure that the public is given the right to independent news.

Extension of campaign

To date, we have made a collection of RM1.1 million. We thank each and every one of our supporters who are rooting for us to have this campaign end in a raging success. For us, it already is. What we have received is much more than we expected.

6We initially set a target of raising RM3 million by today – Jan 15, 2014. However, due to numerous requests, we have decided to extend the campaign until the 1,000 bricks are sold.

We currently have 624 bricks sold. Another 376 bricks and we will have a great ‘wall of appreciation’ at our new building. So, let’s do this. Let’s build something great together!

And we will see every one of you at our office-warming party once we have moved in later this year.

For more information on the ‘Buy a Brick Campaign’, click here.


‘Buy a Brick’ campaign crosses RM1mil mark

Over a month into Malaysiakini’s ‘Buy a brick’ project, the fund-raising campaign finally crossed the RM1 million mark on Jan 1, 2014.

“We are overjoyed to hit one million. It is a great new year’s gift from our readers and supporters,” said the independent news portal’s chief executive officer Premesh Chandran.

0fce44e9bf81322f6fa6a4b98ce028a8Premesh (right) added that the campaign will continue after the initial deadline of Jan 15.

“We will be extending the campaign until we get 1,000 sponsors for the bricks. At the current rate, we should be able to hit the target by February,” he said.

The campaign is to raise an ambitious RM3 million for Malaysiakini’s new building in Petaling Jaya, where a portion of the building – named @Kini – will be open to the public.

It was launched on Nov 15 last year, and was originally slated to end in two weeks. To date, it has raised RM1,006,700 – in less than 50 days.

According to Premesh, 535 supporters have so far bought the bricks worth RM1,000 each, while the rest of the money came from smaller donations and large corporate contributions.

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

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

Public support ‘incredible’

@Kini was purchased at the price of RM6.1 million. Inclusive of renovations, duties and fees, the total cost is estimated to be around RM7 million.

Malaysiakini plans to pay RM1 million in cash upfront and seek RM3 million in bank financing. To alleviate the burden, Malaysiakini is looking to its supporters to raise the rest of the money.

Meanwhile, Malaysiakini project manager Lynn D’Cruz said reaching the RM1 million mark was a milestone.

She added that the news portal is still hopeful of reaching the RM3 million target and public support has been “incredible”.

“For us, the journey has gone beyond reaching the RM3 million target. Now it is about ensuring that Malaysians will continue to have access to independent news and views,” said D’Cruz.

“With the new building, we can further grow our operations, not so much for our sakes but for the sake of those who have believed in us.”

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


DAP reps buy 40 bricks for Malaysiakini’s new home

DAP’s 38 parliamentarians and two senators have all bought a brick each to contribute to Malaysiakini’s new building in Petaling Jaya.

The party’s treasurer, Bukit Bintang MP Fong Kui Lun yesterday handed Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran a cheque for RM40,000 for the bricks.

The handover took place at Malaysiakini’s office in Bangsar Utama, where Fong, with Segambut MP Lim Lip Eng, Tanjong MP Ng Wei Aik and Seremban MP Anthony Loke, had their first look at the bricks on which their names will be etched e8cfba70b73de88476ca0e5335283e9e and installed at the new building.

Loke (left in photo), who is the DAP parliamentary whip, told Malaysiakini that all 40 DAP representatives agreed last month to contribute one brick each to the portal’s ‘Buy a Brick’ campaign.

“Malaysiakini changed the media landscape by providing independent news. People now are so used to it that it has become a daily routine to read Malaysiakini,” Loke said during his visit.

“That’s why I think we must contribute to ensure that Malaysiakini’s operation continues,” he added.

Meanwhile, Premesh said he appreciates DAP’s support and he believed the online portal would do better in carrying out its mission when it moves to its new office.

“We shall continue to hold all politicians accountable,” he said.

To add to the festive mood, Segambut MP Lim donned a Santa Claus cap during the visit to Malaysiakini.

RM730,000 raised so far

Malaysiakini has set an ambitious RM3 million target in the 60-day campaign, where supporters can buy a brick for a contribution of RM1,000.

The campaign runs until Jan 15 and the money will be used to supplement the RM6.1 million cost of the new building to be named @Kini.

a9af4efa29236b49e519f946b2a50264With 27 days of fund raising to go, Malaysiakini has sold more than 500 bricks worth RM730,000. The campaign also offers corporate sponsorship packages of RM25,000 and RM50,000.

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 is located in Section 51 of Petaling Jaya and will have nearly double the space available at the existing Malaysiakini office. 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


Gardenia supports news and views that matter

Gardenia Bakeries Sdn Bhd has come forward to support the independent media by contributing to Malaysiakini’s campaign to raise funds for its new premises in Petaling Jaya.


“Gardenia believes that truth always prevails at the end of the day, thus, Malaysiakini is doing what is right for society with their transparent news reporting,” said Gardenia CEO Yap Kim Shin (left).

Yap said that his firm was supportive of Malaysiakini’s efforts to bring readers the “news and views that matter” in a truthful manner.

“As long as you write the truth, that’s it, because at the end of the day the truth is the only real story,” he added.

The reason behind this philosophy, said Yap, was the fact that Gardenia shares some similar experiences with Malaysiakini in being the target of “unfair criticism”.

1ef3455a152b1fdadaec6b78cc8bd418“I feel that Malaysiakini’s journey runs parallel to Gardenia’s development. We both have been through a long and hard journey to where we are today,” he added.

Yap hosted Malaysiakini CEO Premesh Chandran and the Malaysiakini team at the Gardenia factory in Shah Alam yesterday.

Please click here for more information on how you can get involved in Malaysiakini’s building fund.

Buy a brick, help build a home for Malaysiakini