Steven Gan, Malaysia, is a co-founder of Malaysia's first and only independent publication, malaysiakini.com.
Gan began his journalism career as a Hong Kong-based freelancer and covered the Gulf War from Baghdad in 1991. He returned to Malaysia in 1994, becoming special issues editor and columnist for the newly launched Sun newspaper, where he helped reveal the deaths of 59 inmates in the Semenyih immigration detention camp. When his editors refused to publish the story, Gan released his findings to a human rights activist, who was subsequently charged with spreading “false news,” a crime in Malaysia. When Gan reported on protests during the 1996 Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor he was arrested and jailed for five days. Amnesty International named Gan a prisoner of conscience. When his newspaper refused to publish his last reports from the conference, Gan resigned and became an editorial writer for The Nation newspaper in Bangkok. Since going live in November 1999,malaysiakini.com has become one of the top news websites in the country. malaysiakini received the Free Media Pioneer 2001 award from the International Press Institute, and Gan was a recipient of the Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award 2000.