Access to leading web news portal Malaysiakini will be available free of charge from tomorrow.
"This is in keeping with the spirit of democracy, for we believe that voting is a major responsibility of every citizen," chief executive officer Premesh Chandran said today.
"Malaysians should have access to election campaign information before they vote. Indeed, citizens should make an informed decision on the government they want when they go to the ballot box."
Premesh said Malaysiakini intends to play a key role in providing information to Malaysian voters. The site had also gone free during the 2008 general election.
"We are going free for two other reasons. An avalanche of advertising will hit the website during this period and it is bound to upset our subscribers.
"However, the extra revenue will help compensate for the loss in subscription revenue and support the cost of sending our journalists nationwide to cover news during this crucial period.
"Secondly, we expect Malaysiakini servers to come under attack again during the election campaign, and doing away with the subscription will ease our efforts in overcoming these attacks."
Be the first to know
Over the next few weeks, readers can expect blow-by-blow accounts of the election campaign as well as in-depth analyses on voting trends in all four languages.
"In addition, KiniTV.com will give viewers ringside seats. We hope you will share our news and videos with your friends," Premesh ( right ) said.
On election night, Malaysiakini aims to be the first to report election results in real time.
"With our journalists based at all the key constituencies and clued in on the counting process, we will let you know who will govern Malaysia after May 5," he said.
Mobile users can access the website through m.malaysiakini.com .
As compensation, subscribers will be given an extension to their current subscription period equal to the days that Malaysiakini is available free of charge.
"We do appreciate all the support we receive from our subscribers, and we believe that you will understand the need for Malaysiakini to go free during this critical period. We shall return as a subscription site shortly after polling day," Premesh added.