… but no freedom after speech,” said Steven Gan, editor-in-chief of Malaysiakini.com when he and his team received the Press Freedom Award of the International Press Institute in New Dehli recently. The award for the first time in its 50-year history went beyond paper. The “online newspaper” gets an average of 120,000 daily visitors. And there is no paper version of Malaysiakini (“Malaysia Now”). The reason is that Malaysia employs very strict censorship on its printed press. Gan spent more than four years in prison for violating those censorship rules. The online paper successfully tries to dodge the censorship.
The success of Malaysiakini so far has gone unnoticed with the government. Or so it seemed. Only a week after Gan received the prestigious award, the online newspaper was refused access to all government activities. Gan feels far from heroic. “All we want to do is normal journalistic work,” he says. By the way, Malaysiakini is looking for an online publication system at minimal cost. If you can offer any help or want to follow up the story, Gan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.