News portal MalaysiaKini raised more than RM500,000 (US$125,000) just hours after it was convicted of contempt of court over its readers’ comments.
The news organization set up the fundraising campaign soon after it was ordered to pay the hefty penalty by Wednesday over comments written on its website by five readers. The ruling led to widespread concerns over press freedom in Malaysia and surge of support from journalists and opposition politicians, who showed solidarity with the independent news site online.
“We have achieved our donation target. Thank you!” a website banner said on MalaysiaKini after it clocked RM552,321 for its “Media Defence Fund,” adding that it was “still deliberating” on where to channel excess donations.
Syed Saddiq and the Democratic Action Party were among those that showed support for the news site after it exceeded its fundraising goal.
“Press freedom is the bedrock of a functioning democracy,” Syed wrote online, noting that he donated RM1,000 (US$250).
“We stand in solidarity with MalaysiaKini,” the Democratic Action Party, which gave RM60,000 (US$15,000), wrote.
Editor Steven Gan, who was previously accused of contempt, was not convicted by the judge at the Putrajaya Federal Court earlier today.
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This article, MalaysiaKini exceeds RM500,000 fundraising goal hours after court verdict, originally appeared on Coconuts, Asia's leading alternative media company.