The Asian Economic Crisis
drives a wedge
between Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his deputy Anwar Ibrahim. After
his sacking, Anwar ignites the Reformasi movement, calling for Mahathir's
resignation. Anwar is arrested and later emerges in court with a black eye. The
mainstream media organisations toe the official line. Wanting to attract foreign
investment, the government pledges free Internet.
Steven Gan and Premesh Chandran decide to test it with an online independent
news site, Malaysiakini.com. After a year of fundraising, Malaysiakini sets up
office. Weeks later, Mahathir calls a snap election. Malaysiakini goes live on
nomination day of the 10th general election on Nov 20, 1999.