PKR and DAP today gave a combined RM80,000 to Malaysiakini as part of efforts to cover its RM500,000 fine for contempt over comments posted by readers, as the news portal announced that it had exceeded its target by RM5,000.
“As a sign of solidarity, PKR will contribute RM20,000 to the fund raising effort,” the party said in a statement issued by its treasurer general Lee Chean Chung.
DAP meanwhile said 50 of its MPs and assemblymen would donate RM1,000 each, with another RM10,000 to come from the party itself.
Earlier today, the Federal Court ruled that Malaysiakini was guilty of contempt over comments posted by readers seen as offensive to the judiciary.
The attorney-general had said that five comments posted by readers on a June 7 report titled “CJ orders all courts to be fully operational from July 1” contained words offensive towards the judiciary in general and the chief justice in particular.
The attorney-general also claimed that the comments undermined public confidence in the judiciary and were an insult to its integrity.
Malaysiakini’s editor-in-chief Steven Gan, who was also named in the lawsuit, was found not guilty.
Malaysiakini was fined RM500,000 despite pleas by its legal team for a maximum fine of RM30,000, and the proposal by the Attorney-General’s Chambers that the portal be fined RM200,000.
Its fund raising campaign, dubbed the Media Defence Fund, had succeeded in collecting RM505,000 as of 4pm.
“Details on what we will do with the extra funds will be forthcoming,” the portal said in a Twitter post thanking those who had donated.