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 matters.

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 Malaysiakini’s operation.

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 15 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:

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.
  • 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.
  •, which works with citizen journalists to develop localised news portals.
  • An online digital library, which provided resources for researchers, and an online database on general elections. I.e. and
  • Multiplatform journalism, which builds content across different languages and on various platforms (IPTV, iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry)

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.