ANALYSIS. Mark our words. When Jeff Ooi turns up for the hearing of the interparte injunction tomorrow, he will be cited for contempt of court!

The incredible thing that slays Jeff is: He was done in by a reader who made a crude remark about plaintiff Kalimullah Hassan, if only for less than 30 minutes online before Jeff had it deleted swiftly.

On January 23, Jeff revealed that his reader, who named himself SuperShyteStirrer, has used proxies to mask his digital trail, and had routed his posting to post in Screenshots through the network owned by “Safe Host Network Geneva”, Switzerland, via IP address 80.80.228.150.

KEY ISSUES:

  1. Is Jeff willing to go down the gauntlet without blowing the cover of SuperShyteStirrer — whoever?
  2. The larger picture: Will the NSTP shebang succeed in putting a blanket ban on readers’ comments in blogs, and muzzle the entire Internet community that was named TIME People of the Year 2006?

HAVING compromised The NSTP’s defamation suit against Rocky, leadership at The NSTP had ordered their lawyers, Shearn Delamore, to cite Jeff for contempt of court when the hearing of interparte injunction begins before Judge Malik Ishak at Civil Court 6 tomorrow.

Prior to that, on January 11, Justice Malik had granted an ex-parte injunction against Jeff, ordering him to take down 15 articles the plaintiffs cited as defamatory from his popular blog.

According to people who drink at the same pubs as lawyers from Shearn Delamore and Zul Rafique & Partners, plaintiff Kalimullah Hassan has ordered Cecil Abraham to “skin Jeff alive”, and do it fast.

The main firepower for Kalimullah is said to be a comment left by a reader of Jeff’s Screenshots blog, who used the name of SuperShyteStirrer, that was deemed by the NSTP a breach of the ex-parte injunction issued against Jeff.

In his blog entry dated January 23, Jeff stated that the reader, whose comment was time-stamped 23:00hr January 19, 2007, had tried to implicate him for possible contempt of court by posting an offensive remark against one of the plaintiffs.

“Despite my plea to readers not to complicate my defending of the defamation The NST et.al took against me — where I warned you circa 11.30hr January 18, 2007, to “tread carefully when you leave your comments” — there was an evil attempt to implicate me and possibly ruin my case.

“LIAR KALI”

Over the weekend, drinking buddies of Shearn Delamore and Zul Rafique lawyers were circulating the rumours — yes, rumours even at this point in time — that Kalimullah blew his top, but soon grinned, when he saw SuperShyteStirrer’s comment:

Isn’t it rich that a PROVEN LIAR like KALIMULLAH HASSAN (hey LIAR KALI sue me if you dare – Jeff has my identity) has the gall to sue for libel.

Kali, if you lie in print and do not retract or apologise, in spite of of the fact that your error has been pointed to you by no less a person of your master and handler Abdullah Badawi amongst others, what do you think that the Malaysian public thinks of you? Once a liar always a liar. Yes we all agree that we make mistakes. But when our mistakes are pointed out to us, most normal people would apologise and put the facts right. You have had ample opportunities to do this and yet you refuse. So I will call you a LIAR. Sue me if you dare!”

Reliable sources familiar with the case also said Shearn Delamore has issued a letter to Jeff’s solicitor at Messrs Thomas Philip on January 22, cautioning them of SuperShyteStirrer’s remarks.

However, in the letter to Jeff’s solicitors, Shearn Delamore did acknowledge that, at the time of its writing of the notification to Thomas Philip, the said SuperShyteStirrer comment had since been removed from Jeff’s weblog.

People close to Jeff said he was on guard of the commentaries in his blog, and that SuperShyteStirrer’s remark was deleted within half-an-hour after it was posted.

Nevertheless, that didn’t seem to stop Kalimullah from claiming his pound of Jeff’s flesh. You just need to wait till tomorrow if our story is to be proven true.

SECOND TIME UNLUCKY

This is the second time unlucky for Jeff falling into the hands of his reader, which gave an opportunity for the same shebang from The NSTP Group, aided by the Son-in-Law, to hit Jeff hard as their main aim was to divert public attention on Abdullah’s failure to contain money politics during the 2004 Umno party election.

In October 2004, Jeff was incriminated for a posting by reader “Anwar” who compared “corruption and Islam Hadhari”, two things mutually exclusive, with “urine and faeces”.

Jeff gave reader “Anwar” 24 hours to retract or the remarks would be deleted and his commenting rights removed.

Anwar didn’t respond within the timeframe, and his comment was subsequently removed, and his commenter status removed.

Incredibly, it was the same shebang of Kalimullah, Hishamuddin, Brendan who used The NST, Berita Harian and Kalimullah’s own Sunday column to stir up religious bigotry against Jeff. Berita Harian, helmed by Hishamuddin Aun, literally placed Jeff Ooi as Public Enemy No. 1 on the frontpage of Berita Harian for four consecutive days, with The NST stoking it for days in end.

At the heat of the controversy, the Son-in-Law emerged to demand a public apology to all Malaysians from Jeff, which jeff ultimately didn’t, while the then Deputy Internal Security Minister Noh Omar threatened ISA detention against him.

At that time, Kalimullah had called Jeff a “somewhat unknown blogger” who was out to seek publicity.

However, the madness died instantly when reader “Anwar” himself surrendered to the authority after Energy, Water and Communications Minister Dr Lim Keng Yaik alerted the cabinet ministers of the proper handling of the issue by applying the country’s cyberlaw. Since 1998, all online content issues are deliberated under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1984.

Surprise of surprise, reader “Anwar” turned out to be a disgruntled government servant, a lab assistant at Hospital UKM, Cheras, who had just two years before his retirement. He was later let off scots-free.

Instantly, too, the whole NSTP shebang withdrew the attacks on Jeff, just to return to fight another day, today.

NOTE: Cecil Abraham, 59, who is lead counsel for NSTP et.al., has recently resigned from Shearn Delamore after his proposal to merge the legal firm with another medium-size law firm was rejected by the junior partners. Cecil has a brother, Wilfred, as a senior partner in Zul Rafique. Rumour is rife that Cecil may take the NSTP defamation cases against bloggers to his new law firm, along with his son Sunil and legal assistant Rishwant Singh. Don’t trust us 100% for now. Time will be the better judge for truth.

Advertisements