SOURCE: Malaysiakini, Letters to Editor

Let the courts decide on NST-bloggers battle
Ahmad Ikhlas

Jan 24, 07 2:46pm

I refer to the malaysiakini report Press fears over blogs lawsuit. Firstly, allow me, at the outset, to declare that I’m an ardent reader of Jeff Ooi’s blog – and have been one for ages now.

However, I wish to point out that though a blog may make quite interesting reading, no one, bloggers included, ought be permitted the to defame, derogate or denigrate any party with impunity and disregard for accountability and responsibility.

In one’s quest to make one’s blog more widely-read (popular?), one should never discard propriety, truth and decorum. Indeed, we rightfully demand similar standards from the mainstream media too, and, if they fail, we simply refuse to patronise such publications and castigate them.

Now, if the lawsuits brought about by the NST are frivolous and vexatious, let the same be proven in court, whence both parties, I’m sure, would be able to present their cases and prove their point.

Indeed, if what was posted in Jeff Ooi’s blog is found not to have transgressed the bounds of ‘fair comment’ then, surely mud would be in the faces of those parties who filed the suits! No, in my mind, we must not clamour and scream ‘unfair’ or ‘bullying’ in this particular case. Instead, let’s challenge them at their own game by gallantly stating ‘I’ll see you in court!’, period!

But, of course, therein lies the ‘price’ that Jeff Ooi has to pay ie, getting the legal eagles to defend his right to say what he wishes to say. It is in this instance that those who support free speech ought to assist him in proving that he was merely making ‘fair comment’, nothing more, nothing less.

The NST has every right to claim defamation just as Jeff Ooi has every right to counter by exclaiming ‘Bully’ but, ultimately, let the courts settle the matter. In my opinion, the blogosphere should not be a passport for any individual to permeate it with innuendos and half-truths – never mind if the mainstream media practises such traits.

God bless the conscientious bloggers and help keep them going!