Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Another paper in Malaysia sued by politician

Ong Tee Keat sues Hau Wai (Special Weekly), lodges police report. The MCA president joins a growing number of Malaysian politicians resorting to lawsuits to shut up the media and intimidate journalists. Some of these politicians are the same ones who shout for Press freedom, especially when elections are around the corner.

I accept that individuals in this country have every right to defend themselves against defamation and lies in the media. Politicians, however, should resort to better means to deal with negative reports. The most common way is to issue a denial to the editors of the newspaper which published the reports.

Read theSun's story here.


  1. Anonymous8:52 pm

    OTK had hardly warmed his seat but he seemed to have fallen for the ploys of what politicians fear most - the truth and revealing the whole truth. He could be said to be in the wrong place at the wrong time of his choice. But he knew the challenges ahead were never easy and he made his choice to face them head-on. There is only one winner. Odds are unlikely to stay in his favour.

  2. Anonymous9:08 pm

    They said they want freedom! But do they understand what exactly do we mean by the phrases "FREEDOM". "Freedom of expression", "freedom of association", and "freedom of assembly"? "Press Freedom" "freedom of speech" and so and so ......
    These phrases actually encompass many aspects: an individual's freedom to express his views; freedom of the press, freedom of authors to write and publish; of film-makers to make films of their choice. These are some examples relating to "freedom of expression", whereas the other categories involve the right of the individual to form an association, or to be a member of a club, or the right to assemble in some place. At the end of the day, they have this in common: they all relate to a citizen's fundamental civil liberties. To the public these are prized possessions, for it is through speech and expression that ideas, views and arguments may be articulated. Anywhere in the world, an individual's right to these freedoms cannot be absolute.


  3. Ahh, bro. Remember what happened to theSun before it became a free paper, eh? Yeah, smells like, what name, a tragi-comedy courtesy of you-know-who, if ya ask me. How many people lost their jobs back then because of that?

  4. I quote Lee Kuan Yew from an interview of him on Youtube, and I think it sounds something like this,

    "We in Singapore cannot afford to have a weak government. When someone tells a false story about us, [and the story is spread everywhere,] and we don't do something about it, eventually people are going to believe it"

    It's a response to the interviewer's question on why he sued journalists.

    I'm against false reports. or one without proof or basis.

  5. Brader Rocky:

    1. You wrote inter alia:

    "...The MCA president joins a growing number of Malaysian politicians resorting to lawsuits to shut up the media and intimidate journalists...."

    2. I think that statement is unfair to OTK.

    3. I don't think he wants to "shut up/intimidate" journalists who write the truths and/or publish "fair comments".

    4. I understand that he was very irritated by some writers who abuse/misuse the freedom to "DEFAME" him....

    5. He may be described by some to be "less tolerant" --compared with DSN for eg--but in the eyes of law, an aggrieved party has every right to seek redress, and correct whatever distorted perceptions people may have about him.

    6. Otherwise, the people may believe that the "stories" (as published in the said weekly)are TRUE, CORRECT, and ACCURATE --until and unless they are denied/rebutted/sued....

    7. The Police report and the legal actions only go to show that "PR/diplomatic/friendly" approaches had failed!


  6. Anonymous10:16 pm

    I do not understand Malaysians.

    When OTK sues a false report,it is labelled as 'media intimidation'

    When Najib refuses to sue on the ALtantuya case,it is cowardice,proof of guilt etc

    What should one do?

  7. Anonymous11:32 pm


    You've got it all wrong. Hou Wai portrayed OTK as someone who wears his underwear on the outside. Read: Airs dirty linen in public.

    its all on the front cover.

  8. Ong Tee Keat sued for RM100 mil !!!!12:03 am

    Ong Tee Keat being sued for RM100 million !!!!!!!

    No wonder he has to sue others, guess can lessen his burden or else he will go bankrupt !!!!

    Mengenai saman yang diterimanya daripada syarikat pemegang konsesi program e-kesihatan yang perjanjiannya dibatalkan oleh kerajaan, Ong berkata beliau akan mendapatkan nasihat undang-undang daripada penasihat undang-undang kementerian dan pihak berkuasa yang terlibat dalam menghadapi saman fitnah RM100 juta yang difailkan oleh syarikat itu ke atasnya.

    He was sued RM100 million by e-Kesihatan !!!!!

    "....Asked about the RM100mil legal suit by the concessionaire of the e-Kesihatan medical programme for allegedly commenting on the monopolistic structure of the programme, Ong said: “We have asked the Transport Ministry’s legal adviser to look into it.....”

  9. I think OTK will be spending alot of time in court in the near future, especially after the PWC PKFTZ Report is made public.

    New Numero Uno for MCA?

  10. Yeh i agreed with LKY...

  11. Anonymous2:05 am

    Why Transport ministry legal advisor? Please explain.

  12. Anonymous9:41 am

    OTK said he will sue a MC Eh man for defaming him. Apparently this MC Eh man said he, OTK and gang went to night clubs, drank lots of liquor and smoked when they were overseas. I failed to see how a person can sue another person for saying statement of fact. The witness is the fella he was with during his sessions of fun. We all know CSL was not the only healthy person in MC Eh. CKC, OKT and his bro, OTK and gang, LLS are also very healthy. Ask any Chinese taximan and there are lots of stories on MC Eh's gang on how healthy they are.

    Should MC Eh gang sue all Chinese taximan?

  13. Dear Rocky,

    Press freedom and the right to protect one's reputation are two different things.

    Press freedom is a child of freedom of speech and expression as provided for under the Federal Constitution and the UN Declaration of Human Rights. The full implementation of this freedom would entail the liberation of the press so that the press could report, dissect, analyse, criticise and discuss things as they are and not as the Government wishes them to do.

    However, when the Press oversteps that freedom by saying something untrue or defamatory of somebody, that somebody could of course deny it. If he feels strongly about it, he may deny and demand an apology. If an apology is not forthcoming, and he feels that his reputation has been damaged by the so called untruth, he may of course sue to clear his name and also to get compensation (damages).

    The two rights conversely exist. The Press has freedom to publish and the individuals have the rights to protect themselves from defamatory publication.

    I therefore beg to differ from your opinion.


  14. One Mr Anony wrote:

    "....Asked about the RM100mil legal suit by the concessionaire of the e-Kesihatan..., Ong said: “We have asked the Transport Ministry’s legal adviser to look into it.....”

    Another Mr. Anony asked:

    "Why Transport ministry legal advisor? Please explain.2:05 AM"

    My Comment:

    1.When OTK is sued in his capacity as a member of the Cabinet, he is defended by the AG --who is assisted by the legal advisor at the Ministry.

    2. In the e-kesihatan's case, OTK made decision as the Minister of Transport. He has the authority under the law to do so....

    3. If the Plaintiff's action succeeds, the damages (if any) will be borne by the Govt; not from OTK's pocket.

    4. In Perak's case, we also noted that Nizar's (when he was the MB) appearance in court was represented by the state legal advisor.

    5. It appears that Mr Anony 1 and Mr. Anony 2 (above) erroneously thought that OTK was sued in his personal capacity...and that he might become a bankrupt...or that he had to sue the "Special Weekly" to 'earn' some millions to pay the other e-kesihatan Plaintiff....

    6. Aiyoh, braders. These two cases are distinctly differentlah --like heaven and hell, you know. Cheers!

  15. anti-BN1:40 pm

    Dear Boddhi,

    You said:-

    "3. If the Plaintiff's action succeeds, the damages (if any) will be borne by the Govt; not from OTK's pocket...."

    Which means our country will be bankrupt if our Ministers simply make all kind of stories?

    Where is the responsibility?

    No wonder BN is bankrupting the Govt.

  16. Anonymous6:58 pm

    Now that's what we call balanced.

    Both BN and PR are playing the same game.

    Sue, counter sue and let's help those poor lawyers!


  17. Anonymous5:37 pm

    Boddhi, Anon etc,

    You are all missing the point..assuming OKT loses the defamation case, does he still have the credibility and integrity to continue as a Minister??? But aisehman, this is Malaysia Boleh...they are all totally shameless and emperors with new clothes...

  18. Anonymous7:54 pm

    When OTK started his blog, he thought he was so smart and popular that he allowed all comments without screening. From day 1, he was hantam left and right by his readers. Some of his posts attracted more than 200 comments, all negative.
    After sometime, he put a brake on it and now if you go into his blog, it is hardly updated and hardly anyone wants to visit.Poor president!!!

  19. bacardi10:51 am

    Art Harun

    I agree with you. Because that's what press freedom is. Yada yada yada....

    But, the way I see it, -- and you may not know it -- you seem to agree with Rocky. And I'm sure Rocky with you.

    To me, it is not whether Ong TK can take legal action agaoins the publication, but whether he should.

    there are many ways to skin a cat and he, as a politician should seek other avenues, to deal with the case..

  20. Non-partisan11:59 am

    I strongly agree to your assertion.

    As we all know Lee Kuan Yew is such a very strong character. Be that as it may, in dealing with the press hostile towards him, resorting to legal suit was seldom his first option.

    He would firstly issue his rebuttals and ensure that they were published verbatims in that particular press.Or he might even purchase an advertisement space in another press for his rebuttals to be published.