Support pours in for Project Merdeka


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 07 Aug 2016

‘Boleh’ spirit: The team behind Project Merdeka (from left) Shiva Narrthine, Gan, Melissa Tan and (back) Dexter Codo.

PETALING JAYA: In conjunction with the upcoming Merdeka Day, over 100 startups have come toget­her to show the Malaysia Boleh spirit and strength of the entrepreneur industry.

The Project Merdeka initiative, led by Serene Gan, was meant to give the people a sense of pride by introducing them to Malaysian entrepreneurs and add some cheer by offering various discounts.

Gan said the idea came about du­ring a chat with other startup founders before Hari Raya and the team worked on it over the holidays.

Taking three days to design and code the website (http://projectmerdeka.com), they listed about 15 deals within the first week before opening it up to the public.

To date, more than 145 startups have joined in.

“In the community of tech startups, I have never seen a group of people so willing to help each other out. It’s a wonderful thing,” said Gan, 24, in an e-mail interview.

She said Project Merdeka took no commissions or participation fees from vendors and was a non-profit entity.

The project was inspired by the music video Here in My Home where 120 celebrities came toget­her for the video produced by musician Pete Teo and directed by the late Yasmin Ahmad to raise awareness about racial unity and toget­her­ness in conjunction with Merdeka in 2008.

Though the project was intended to run until Malaysia Day on Sept 16, the team is considering keeping it going due to strong support by vendors and customers.

The startups came from various industries such as shopping, food and beverage, travel including ride-hailing app Grab, fitness class booking site KFit, video streaming site iFlix, e-commerce company Lazada and food delivery service Dah Makan.

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