Bakri MP sells hibiscus to aid Merdeka Review


Opposition MP Er Teck Hwa has initiated a fundraising campaign, selling hibiscus flowers to assist cash-strapped independent news portal Merdeka Review, the funders of which backed out abruptly.

The DAP parliamentarian for the constituency of Bakri in Johor said he had raised RM3,500 from selling 80 stalks of the national flower since he began his drive yesterday.

Er was spotted in the lobby of Parliament carrying a recycled plastic water bottle that he used as a vase to carry the stalks, which were adorned with red ribbons.

He told reporters at the lobby that he hoped every elected representative in the House would buy a stalk or two to support the Chinese and Malay language web portal.

Merdeka Review was to have shut down early this month, but it managed to raise about RM200,000 through a donation drive, enabling it to extend its operations for another two-and-a-half months.

It needs about RM60,000 a month to sustain the website and is hoping to raise RM300,000 to keep it going for six months, to buy time for discussions with long-term investors.

Merdeka Review announced recently that several investors have shown interest, and that it was confident of surviving the current funding crisis.

It began as a Chinese-language news site in 2005 and started a Bahasa Malaysia section two years ago.

"I will do my best to sell a stalk to every MP by the end of the day," said Er, who was approached as he was promoting the 20 stalks he had brought with him this morning.

Nga Kor Ming (DAP-Taiping) got the ball rolling today by purchasing a hibiscus stalk for RM1,000.

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