ANALYSIS. Yesterday, we alerted you on why The NST and Berita Harian, both subsidiaries of The NSTP, should be cited for contempt of court.
Today, The NST is not only in active denial mode, it’s courting the Prime Minister, who is president of Umno which effectively owns The NSTP, thus an undeniable interested party in the suits, to commit prejudice against the bloggers on trial, yet again!
And the bloggers’ trial continues tomorrow, January 29 for Rocky, and January 30 for Jeff Ooi.
The new spin, we believed was primarily aimed at the Judges as Malaysia no longer practises the jury system, was published in January 28 edition of New Sunday Times, entitled Exclusive Sunday interview with the Prime Minister: ‘I’ve to do what I need to do‘, spread over the frontpage and pages 6 and 7.
The authors bylined for the story were Hishamuddin Aun, a plaintiff in the defamation suits against both bloggers, Berita Harian Group Editor Manja Ismail, and Berita Harian Putrajaya bureau chief, Kadir Dikoh.
In the article, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi resorted to the same tactic used by NSTP’s counsel, Shearne Delamore & Co., which made “global claims” of a generic manner where all bloggers were called names and accused of penal crimes but void of specifics. It has been a tactic described by the defence as “fatally deficient“.
In fact, he seemed to imply that his only critics are the bloggers! And this was swiftly picked up by Associated Press and reported up-to-speed by International Herald Tribune on the same day Thge NST and Berita Minggu articles came out:
In the so-called interview with plaintiff Hishamuddin Aun, Abdullah had called bloggers liars without saying specifically what lies bloggers told.
“Fatally deficient” as it may, Abdullah was quoted in the New Sunday Times as saying this:
Q: But do you think the criticism against you has gone overboard? If previously there were people who disagreed with certain matters the leaders did, the government did, today there seems to be more integrated efforts from a particular group to discredit you. This is most evident in cyberspace. Why is this happening?
A: Seems that these people are captivated by these tools, the SMS, electronic media.
They feel they are free, they cannot be disturbed and they can say whatever they wish to say. They do it (post comments) anonymously.
This sort of freedom had made them resort to such action (of spreading lies and making unfounded allegations).
Even bloggers or those who maintain websites use this opportunity to create stories. Lies after lies are being told. To them, everything is not right, everything is not good.
If I allow myself to be distracted by all this, I will not be able to do any work. That is what they want, that I not focus on my work.
The Malay version of the interview with Abdullah was carried in the January 28 edition of Berita Minggu, the Sunday edition of Berita Harian published by The NSTP. In theinterview, Abdullah colossally accused bloggers as liars (Full version elsewhere in Berita Harian website):
Beliau berkata, pengendali blog atau laman web menggunakan kesempatan mereka membuat pelbagai cerita.
“Bohong demi bohong dilakukan. Pada mereka, semuanya tak betul, semuanya tak baik. Kalau saya membenarkan diri saya diganggu sepanjang masa, saya tak akan dapat buat kerja. Itulah sebenarnya yang mereka mahu lakukan, supaya saya tak dapat tumpukan pada kerja,” katanya.
Perdana Menteri berkata, ada segelintir yang kini ghairah dengan perantaraan moden seperti khidmat pesanan ringkas (SMS), media elektronik, pengendali blog atau laman web kerana tidak perlu mendedahkan nama dan berasa mereka bebas.
Is The NSTP and the individual plaintiffs suing Rocky and Jeff Ooi so desperate? Why the rush to print the subjudice piece on January 28?
WE KNOW, the next day on January 29, Rocky has to inform the court his decision to the new issues that Shearn Delamore, who represents The NST et.al., raised on January 25. The NSTP had wanted to cite Rocky for prejudice since it had failed to obtain an ex-parte injunction against him, and failed to apply for ad interim after Rocky had applied to have the suit struck off.
WE KNOW, on January 30, Jeff Ooi will begin court hearing to set aside the ex-parte injunction The NSTP et.al took against him, and to strike out the entire case brought against him.
WE KNOW that Shearn Delamore is citing prejudice against Rocky, and had cautioned subjudice against Jeff Ooi by slapping him with the ex-parte injunction. But is Shearn Delamore risking its reputation — yes, Cecil Abraham leads the suits though he has retired from the firm — by ‘closing an eye’ to The NST for using its own Press and Monsterblog.com.my to consciously commit contempt of court?
And WE KNOW that The NSTP is using Abdullah in a perilous posturing to influence the Judiciary using Executive power to silent the dissent, an act that Abdullah has willingly allowed himself to be enslaved by.
And verily, WE KNOW that, by using the PM for its evil posturing, The NSTP is desparate to fight the suits OUTSIDE the courtroom, not inside!
The cyber Operasi Lalang has begun!