Advance Awards Alumni Winner
As an important proponent of free speech in Malaysia and a disruptor of the media landscape, Premesh Chandran creates space for voices against corruption and government abuses. Premesh has historically been a strong believer in the power of citizen journalism, having established training courses that spawned over 400 citizen journalists. As the co-founder and CEO of Malaysiakini.com, Premesh brings Malaysia’s top independent news website to over 8 million people. The site played a key role in informing a generation of voters, leading to Malaysia’s first democratic change in federal government in May 2018, the first since independence. Premesh’s passion for social entrepreneurship sees him speaking internationally and coaching extensively, helping others to impact society as tech startups and social enterprises.
Premesh has in 2020 been appointed head of the pro-tem committee for the Malaysia Media Council. He sits on the International Advisory Board of the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health. He is a 2019 TED Senior Fellow, a recipient of Asia Foundation’s Chang-Lin Tan Fellowship in 2010, and was the Media Personality of the Year in 2012. Premesh also established the Kini Academy as part of the Malaysiakini group to create and deliver highly practical courses about media and innovation. As Chairperson of the board of directors of Asia Mobiliti, Premesh is involved in transit-tech products to promote sustainable policies supporting the viability of public transport systems.