Editor in Chef, Malaysiakini
Steven Gan, 50, began his career in journalism in Hong Kong 20 years ago. He traveled extensively during that time - he covered the first Gulf War from Baghdad in 1991. Gan returned in Malaysia in 1994 and helped break a story on the deaths of 59 inmates in an immigration detention camp.In 1996, Gan was arrested at the Asia Pacific Conference on East Timor (Apcet II) in Kuala Lumpur when a pro-government mob sought to forcibly stop the meeting. He was adopted by Amnesty International as a prisoner of conscience. His weekly column on the Apcet II fracas - written after he was released - was rejected by the editor. He resigned from the paper in protest and worked as editorial writer for The Nation in Bangkok for two years.Gan returned to Malaysia again in 1999 to launch the country's first and only independent media, Malaysiakini (Malaysia Now). Since it went live, Malaysiakini has become one of the most influential news websites in the country.Malaysiakini received the Free Media Pioneer 2001 award from the Vienna-based International Press Institute, and Gan is a recipient of the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists’ International Press Freedom Award 2000.The online website was ranked 18 on Asiaweek’s Power 50 in 2001, and Gan was also selected as one of the 50 most influential individuals in Business Week’s ‘Stars of Asia’. In 2003, he was among seven Malaysians picked by Asia Inc’s ‘Who’s hot in Asia?’Malaysiakini was raided by the police and 19 of its computers confiscated in 2003. Nevertheless, the harassment from the government failed to stop the subscription-based website from continuing to provide its readers with ‘news and views that matter’.Gan is co-editor of the 2004 book, ‘Asian Cyberactivism: Freedom of Expression and Media Censorship’. In 2007, Gan was selected as a member of the World Economic Forum’s International Media Council, which meets annually in Davos, Switzerland.Malaysiakini received the bronze prize as one of the country's top media brands at the inaugural Putra Brand Awards in March 2010.