Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Pushing for Freedom with responsibility online

Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Sues News Website Over Reports


Malaysia Prime Minister Najib Razak filed a lawsuit against news website Malaysiakini for defamation for publishing compilations of readers comments critical of his leadership.
The writ of summons named publisher Mkini Dotcom Sdn., Editor-in-Chief Steven Gan and Chief Editor Fathi Aris Omar as defendants, according to court documents e-mailed from the Prime Minister’s Office. Ab. Rauf Yusoh, executive secretary of Najib’s United Malays National Organisation party, is a co-claimant in the lawsuit.
Najib, who said last week a more open media environment is needed for national development, joins Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong in taking legal action over comments made online. Lee is suing a blogger for defamation … READ MORE
Firstly, let's help Bloomberg establish a fact: Najib Razak is not suing a blogger, he is suing the largest news portal in the country which happens to be Opposition-friendly. The only Malaysian Prime Minister who has sued bloggers is Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in 2007, and even that by proxy. It is more accurate to report that Lee Hsien Loong's lawsuit against the Singapore blogger follows the example set by Malaysian Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is known for million-dollar suits against Umno-friendly Utusan Malaysia and sex bloggers.

Secondly, I'm not jumping with joy over Najib's lawsuit against Malaysiakini but I must admit that taking matters to Court is better than using KDN to raid your home/office and seize your computers or stop you from publishing or, as the pracrice is in Lim Guan Eng's Penang, stop media not aligned to your party and views from attending your official functions. 

Thirdly, having said that, you won't catch me crying if Malaysiakini or any other portal gets punished for its lack of journalistic regard for citizens. Steven Gan's excuse that Malaysiakini had offered Najib the right to reply is not relevant all the time. The right of reply is useful only against reason or a legitimate news story. However, against trash, slander and gutter politics disguised as "online comments" by Anonymous Inc and possibly aimed at inflicting maximum damage, the customary right of reply is quite useless. By the time the reply makes it online, the damage would have been done (and imagine the comments that will be generate to further taunt the poor offended party). 

In the past, politically-biased news portals have gotten away lightly, Najib's lawsuit signal an end to that good times. It will cost is: Malaysia's press freedom is already at its worst, according Reporters Without Borders, and the lawsuit will pull it down further. 

But then again do we really want to emulate Brunei and Timur Leste as the two most "press free" nations in the region according to Without Borders? 

14 comments:

tebing tinggi said...


Nothing exciting , what people in the streets interested to see ,how far Najip / UMNO are going through with this ?.
Looking at the past law's suits by UMNO as an example (heboh sahaja tapi tak sampai kemana pon), what the outcome is to be seen .

Fred Goh said...

Ur a piece of shit.

charleskiwi said...

Now Najib is beginning to act like a civilised human being and no doubt he will get my total support for his actions. Finally let's hope the court will deliver a results that bears no reference of influence of any kind. Three cheers for democracy !

Anonymous said...

Dato,
Malaysiakini deserved it.They became arrogant when they think nobody can touch them esp Govt bodies.

Anonymous said...

I believe that most of us in Malaysia are extremely delighted that finally a Prime Minister is taking stern action on a media vehicle that manipulates news although it projects itself as "unbiased" and "transparent". This has been long overdue. No one in this country has license to defame and then disguise it as "the peoples'" view. Freedom comes with responsibility. No one should hide behind the concept of freedom or privileges accorded to them as a representative of the citizenry to be vile. The next thing that Malaysians want is to look into whether foreigners are in any way involved with these kind of portals.

Anonymous said...

FYI

Yet another scam is waiting to be unveiled under the pretext of rakyat diutamakan. Another scam by advisers-crisis managers-communication experts-financial consultants surrounding the PM. Doubt PM knows it.
These conmen been pressuring the Government to introduce yet another SMART CARD to manage BR1M. The focus is certainly not to distribute BR1M efficiently, more towards filling the pockets of these small group of conmen.
A smartcard for GST and targeted subsidy could also be in the works.
A little bird from Putrajaya says these group of conmen have been threatening and twisting the arms of even the Secretary General of Treasury Tan Sri Irwan Sirgar.
The little bird says these group of conmen have been using the mainstream media for their veiled threats against the Secretary General.
Dumping ground personalities, the likes of ex-kita's Jamil and even PKR discards Yam Long are being paid for statements resembling financial experts. These clowns appear on national tv ridiculing the Sec Gen. How do you think this happens?
The little bird says the attacks are aimed at subduing the sec gen into supporting the smart card project that runs into the tune of billions of ringgit.
Please expose these group of conmen. These goons claiming to be the PM's operators have turned robbers under the pretext of helping the man.
The little bird says the PM is innocent. These guys have been fooling the PM with cooked up consultant reports. Bukit Antarabangsa conman Azzwanddin who wants to be a senator are also part of the running dog network. Can you imagine that conmen making statements ridiculing the Sec Gen of Treasury? Who is the puppet master?
Insya-Allah the PM will realise this scam before its too late. How wrong have we been to blame Dati Seri Rosmah Mansor when the real devils are lurking under the guise of advisers. One name that keeps cropping up is a Habibahbul.
May Allah bless you.
Berani Kerana Benar

malindo

Zack said...

I have a question for you Dato'. Do PM have a case here against comments by Malaysiakini's readers? Because they put a disclaimer that reader's opinion does not necessarily reflects their stand.

Grand Marquis said...

Totally agree with you. Taking to court is the gentlemen way of dealing with MK because Najib will be seen as exploiting government agency if KDN is used.

Anonymous said...

Salam Bro,

I wrote this to Bro Jai at JUST READ!... and would like to share it with your readers too.

Salam Bro,

Firstly, thank you for whacking "them" on my behalf in your previous posting.

I would like to share my experiences as a reader and a frequent commentor of M'kini.

I have been following the news by M'kini since the reformasi movement when Anwar was sacked from the government and UMNO. I would say that it was very interesting indeed to get realtime news at that time.

Then, they started allowing readers to post comments with conditions but what I saw is that they are making a mockery of their "terms of use". They were no censorship to comments posted by their readers, 99% are Pakatan supporters and sympathisers. Vulgarity, curses and unsubstantiated accusations against the government leaders, BN and the PM are allowed to be read by everybody.

The report button at the bottom of every comment are just there to camouflage. No action was taken when I click on it.
And this is when I joined the crowd to hit back at them... the chinese chauvinist DAP and its leader the Braggart LGE.
And you guessed right, I got banned for a month while the Pakatan supporters were stil allowed to hit at the BN government.

I came back when the ban on me was lifted with a softer approach but I was attacked by other commenters every time I post something good about the BN. That led me to hit back at them and yes... I was banned again... maybe for good.

M'kini is bias in selecting readers comments to be featured in their "YOURSAY" column. Only BN bashing comments are selected. No doubt that some of my comments get selected too but very seldom... and when it does get featured, it was followed by comments that attack me.

But before the current ban I experimented by commenting my support for Dyana to win the Teluk Intan seat and what do you know... the next day it was featured in their "YOURSAY" column. (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/263149)


Salam,
Blackmoon

Anonymous said...

Salam Bro,

I wrote this to Bro Jai at JUST READ!... and would like to share it with your readers too.

Salam Bro,

Firstly, thank you for whacking "them" on my behalf in your previous posting.

I would like to share my experiences as a reader and a frequent commentor of M'kini.

I have been following the news by M'kini since the reformasi movement when Anwar was sacked from the government and UMNO. I would say that it was very interesting indeed to get realtime news at that time.

Then, they started allowing readers to post comments with conditions but what I saw is that they are making a mockery of their "terms of use". They were no censorship to comments posted by their readers, 99% are Pakatan supporters and sympathisers. Vulgarity, curses and unsubstantiated accusations against the government leaders, BN and the PM are allowed to be read by everybody.

The report button at the bottom of every comment are just there to camouflage. No action was taken when I click on it.
And this is when I joined the crowd to hit back at them... the chinese chauvinist DAP and its leader the Braggart LGE.
And you guessed right, I got banned for a month while the Pakatan supporters were stil allowed to hit at the BN government.

I came back when the ban on me was lifted with a softer approach but I was attacked by other commenters every time I post something good about the BN. That led me to hit back at them and yes... I was banned again... maybe for good.

M'kini is bias in selecting readers comments to be featured in their "YOURSAY" column. Only BN bashing comments are selected. No doubt that some of my comments get selected too but very seldom... and when it does get featured, it was followed by comments that attack me.

But before the current ban I experimented by commenting my support for Dyana to win the Teluk Intan seat and what do you know... the next day it was featured in their "YOURSAY" column. (http://www.malaysiakini.com/news/263149)


Salam,
Blackmoon

Anonymous said...

Zack,

A comment will be just a comment if it is left at that. But when you pick that comment and highlight it in a special column, and in this case the "YOURSAY" section, it became another news item of M'kini.

I believe PM has a case.

Salaam,
Blackmoon

charleskwi said...

No he is not a crony of egregious Mahathir, he is his proxy ! Now that he is 'speaking up' is because the egregious is not able to 'help' him to continue his stealing !

Anonymous said...

i like it when ppl goes crazy..

opus said...

Salam Dato.

Perfect timing....sudah smpai masa...bloggers atau news portal bertanggung jawab dgn apa yg dilakukan.

MK...yg kita faham dah rasa cukup kebal dan semua faham yg ianya bersekongkol dgn Oppisition...dan setelah lebih 1 tahun Kerajaan BN menang GE13...Kerajaan BN dikritik dan di hentam dgn 1001 fitnah....dan secara yg begitu peribadi pula PM pula dikecam....

Ini yg dikatakan freedom of press yg telah diberi tetapi telah disalah gunakan dgn menipu fakta dan lapuran berat sebelah bertujuan senata2 untuk discredit jentera BN...atau menjahanamkan kerajaan kerana kecewa dgn kekalahan.

MEMANG WAJAR DISAMA KERANA MENIPU DAN BERAT SEBELAH..

KALAU PERLU BIAR BUNGKUS LANGSUNG....