By Tony Yew – Every now and then, I get an invite to go back to school to learn and build applications from our friends in Malaysiakini.
Its not really too expensive, but its also not really affordable either.
However, the ‘media school’ that is being run by Malaysiakini seems to draw a particular crowd. According to a participant who got in touch with me, their courses are quite informative and helpful, but ultimately appeals only to their followers.
Let’s back track a little and see if you can understand how Malaysiakini has evolved from a ‘news portal’ to a media school.
2001 - Senior Editor YL Chong (Desi) resigned over a controversial RM188,000.00 deal between Mkini Dot Com and ‘Media Development
Loan Fund’ (MDLF)
Arising from that revelation (and denial by the manegement), it was later discovered that MDLF will emerge as 29% equity owners of Mkini Dot Com.
News Clipping of Desi’s resignation
Now, this may seem like just an ordinary business deal, after all, everyone was jumping on the bandwagon of Dot Com companies back then.
But did Mkini Dot Com’s Steven Gan and Premesh Chandran know about MDLF and what they stood for before that exercise? Surely, a suitor of such a deal would have been evaluated and if there should be any doubts, made clear in order to be absolutely sure, right?
MDLF has a mission statement and one of those lines read …a non profit investment fund that provides low-cost financing to independent news outlets in “countries with a history of media oppression”.
Another says “provide technical know-how to help journalists build their businesses around professional, responsible and quality journalism”
Nice. But here is the million dollar question. Who funds MDLF?
What do ya know? OSI – Open Society Institute is part of a group of financiers dishing out much required green backs to help these ‘oppressed media’ (Question:If media was indeed oppressed here in Malaysia, howlah can Malaysiakini survive all these while? And if quality journalism is what it inspires to achieve by helping journalists, then how could Malaysiakini publish completely false stories like this one?
OK. Lets forget about that for a moment and assume that I am making up all this. But how can anyone explain this?
In 1999, Mkini started with a grant of USD100,000.00K (RM385,000.00) from SEAPA (South East Asia Press Alliance) and a further deal to ‘develop open source software application’ for RM188,000.00 (with CAMP a technollgy division of MDLF). Mkini Dot Com received another RM1,300,000.00 from MDLF in 2002. All these in exchange for (presumably) a 29% equity.
All this information is from public domain, but what they did not tell you is that the source of funding are suspiciously the same.
My point? With all this start up and new media school that aims to empower ‘oppressed’ people, are they hoping for a Myanmar, Egypt, Thailand, Libya, Tunisia styled uprising?
I wouldn’t discount that.
Taken from MustStopThis
Read Part 2