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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.

Premesh ( 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.

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