Saturday September 22, 2012
Soros link kept under wraps
By SIRA HABIBU
PETALING JAYA: Veteran journalist Y.L. Chong quit from Malaysiakini as its news editor more than a decade ago when the news portal management refused to admit that they were getting funds from currency speculator George Soros.
“I told Malaysiakini 11 years ago to come clean, and not hide such information from our subscribers and readers.
“I decided to throw in my resignation as I could not toe the line and keep the Soros link under wraps,” he said in an interview.
Chong stressed that he was not against accepting foreign funds but must come clean after accepting the money.
“But I believe in ethical journalism, especially as Malaysiakini had flagged itself as promoting transparency and openness,” he said.
Chong had also first revealed all this in his blog called ww.desiderata2000.blogspot.com a few years ago, was commenting on reports that Malaysiakini and Suaram were among anti-establishment organisations that allegedly received foreign funding.
The two main contributors are the American-based National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the George Soros-linked Open Society Institute (OSI), which have been financing groups supporting its interests and objectives around the world.
“I was then news editor, and hence privy to information raised at Malaysiakini's meetings, and I had learned that indeed Malaysiakini had received an initial 10% down payment of RM188,000 for a 10% interest in Malaysiakini,” he added.
Chong said he quit after confronting the two Malaysiakini's top guns - Steven Gan and Premesh Chandran - and the two refused to publicly admit to receiving funds through Media Development Loan Fund (MDLF) run by the Open Society Institute (OSI), a well-known international unit linked to Soros.
“In fact Gan said it would be the death of Malaysiakini if they admitted to receiving funding from Soros,'' he said.
Chong also expressed disappointment against the news portal management which had stated that he had quit over his salary.
“They twisted the facts to cover the real reason why I submitted my resignation,'' he said.
Rocky's Bru Blog noted that Chong, the veteran journo and consummate truth-seeker, blew the cover of Malaysiakini and established its link with Soros “way back then”, and last year reminded the public about the matter again.
Chong said he had brought up the matter more than a decade ago following factual errors in the Far Eastern Economic Review magazine report pertaining to foreign funding from Soros.
It was reported that in 1999, Malaysiakini started with a grant of US$100,000 (RM385,000.00) from the South-East Asia Press Alliance and a further deal to “develop open source software application” for RM188,000 with a division of MDLF. Mkini Dot Com allegedly received another RM1.3mil from MDLF in 2002 in exchange for about 30% equity.
Malaysiakini admits to receiving foreign funds