Malaysiakini defence fund reaches halfway mark

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The donation drive to raise RM350,000 for the legal defence fund of Malaysiakini has surpassed the halfway mark, with the tally currently at RM185,000.

About 1,400 people have participated in the effort so far, with the largest donation being RM3,500.

"Our readers in Malaysia and abroad have been extremely generous. Many are retirees, with little to spare. We are coming up with ways to best remember this tremendous generosity,” Malaysiakini chief executive officer Premesh Chandran said.

Premesh said that while a significant amount has been raised since last Thursday, there is still some way to go to reach the final target.

“We look forward to further donations in the coming days.”

Editor-in-chief Steven Gan said Malaysiakini has, together with its readers and supporters, gone through the thick and thin in the past 18 years.

"Still, it never ceases to amaze me the many Malaysians who stand by us whenever we faced great strife and grave threats,” Gan said.

"They give and yet do not expect anything in return. Except that we continue to do our job without fear and favour. Indeed, these Malaysians – many of whom prefer to remain anonymous – are the real unsung heroes. 

"I am truly humbled by the trust they put in us. Malaysiakini cannot, and must not, fail them."

Malaysiakini was ordered to pay RM200,000 in damages and  RM150,000 in legal cost to Raub Australian Gold Mine (RAGM) by the Court of Appeal after it reversed a High Court judgment.

RAGM had sued Malaysiakini over three articles and two video clips on health concerns expressed by residents regarding the mining activities – where cyanide-related chemicals were used to extract gold – near their village at Bukit Koman in Raub, Pahang.

In 2016, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur dismissed RAGM’s suit on grounds that it failed to prove malice on the part of Malaysiakini.

However, the three-member Court of Appeal panel, led by Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, overturned the High Court judgment on Jan 11.

The panel ruled that Malaysiakini’s defence of reportage and Reynold’s defence could not be applied in this case.

The gold mine has since ceased operations and commenced liquidation proceedings.

Those wishing to contribute to the Defend Malaysiakini Fund can bank in their donations to the following account:

Account name: Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd

Account no: 514253516714 (Maybank)

Swift Code: MBBEMYKL

Branch address: Dataran Maybank, Level 1 Tower A, Dataran Maybank, 59000 Kuala Lumpur.

Donations can also be made through credit card by calling +603 7770 0017 or via PayPal.

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