Bloggers’ blogs

So you have had all the mainstream media working over-time spinning stories about Healthy Indicators of Economy, about Good Times Are Back, and about the Magic Trillion in trade volume.

Who do you think is the great Editor-in-Chief for Malaysia that other EICs like Hishamuddin Aun (NSTP), Khalid Mohamed (Utusan), Ho Kay Tat (The Sun & The Edge) and Michael Aera (The Star) have to kow tow to? (Watch this space!)

But first, you need to admit that there had been a series of big, big half-truths oozing from Putrajaya, with more to come your way this season — because KLCI will slide after the Chinese New Year.

Don’t believe? Listen to Reuters, the international news agency. Its KL-based correspondent Jalil Hamid had filed a story that was syndicated through the world’s major newspapers, which ultimately was indexed by Google search engine. The headline yelled at your face: Malaysian spin on economy sparks poll talk.

Buzzword of the day: Malaysian Spin!

Apparently, editors from the newspapers had been summoned for a briefing (read: ‘MUST USE’). And Reuters just rubbed it in an inch deeper:

More such stories are on the cards, said one editor, who attended a government briefing recently.

However, the serious question is asked a different way: Why did the people NOT believe in the Malaysian Spin?

Just go over to Malaysiakini. It has a modest spread of readers who have spent time to write “Letters to the Editor” that the mainstream Press won’t print.

On the spin on the ‘Magic Trillion’, a Malaysiakini reader says:

The fact that Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and his bandwagon are so quick to shanghai this RM1 trillion figure alone and that the press has bandied it about as if it’s the litmus test of the economy or the epitome of successful economic achievements is downright demeaning, degrading and utterly puerile chicanery. It is an absolute disgrace and an insult to our intelligence and misleading to the ordinary man on the street who does not understand such economic data.

What I find so objectionable is the frequent irresponsible manner in which the BN government tries to psyche the common people with half-baked truths and mistruths. And if our local colleges and universities have been teaching our graduates no more than to imbibe such meaningless data, then it’s a sad, sad time for Malaysia.

A proper economic analysis would have to include trade data (imports, exports and their breakdowns), banking data, inflation statistics like the consumer price index, industrial production data, employment data, home ownership, amongst others.

Even blogger Aisehman has made three entries in his blog, taking a dissenting view to the Malaysian Spin.


SOURCE: Tangents: Restless Musings Of A Malay Mind

Can Pak Lah Afford To Be Partisan Against Us Wee Bloggers?

I’m taking a Tangent here of course on the matter of the bloggers (Jeff and Rocky) vs NSTP case which is running rabid on the Malaysian blogosphere and apparently infecting much of the world’s on-line and traditional media.

The Tangent I’m taking is actually on this:

Am I reading this right? Is Pak Lah really taking sides here, against Jeff and Rocky, in what is really a civil suit? I mean I know-lah that NST is an UMNO paper and that Kalimullah is Pak Lah’s chum (due to Pak Lah mistakenly thinking that Kalimullah helped him secure the DPM-ship – uncle Kali you sly old manipulator you…) as well as his son-in-law Khairy’s boss and once(?) business partner, but isn’t this going a little too far?

It would be far fairer of Pak Lah if he also added a comment in the lines of,”Traditional media also should take responsibility of their reporting, and responsible blogs then do have a role to play to check the excesses of such media, especially those with links to the establishment like the NST. Indeed traditional media like NSTP’s publications that are linked to the ruling party must set the standard in responsible reporting ahead of blogs as any poor reporting risks embarassing the government.”


  1. Blogging on the internet is not immune from legal process.
  2. Blogging plays a crucial role in socio-political Malaysia and in nation building efforts.
  3. Keeping the foregoing in mind, it becomes apparent that where suits are brought against blogs that are recognized as playing a crucial role in nation building, then it is the nation building process itself that is being threatened.

SOURCE: Disquiet, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

Defamation And The Blogger

Defamation Proceedings

There is a fallacy that needs to be addressed. Blogging on the internet is not immune from legal process. Like other publications on the internet if a blog publishes defamatory material the blogger responsible for the publication, and even the host of the blog, can be subjected to defamation proceedings.

I believe that Dr Mahathir’s promise of internet freedom could only be taken as being a promise that the Administration would not restrict internet freedom. Based on this promise, Malaysians could reasonably expect that no criminal proceedings are brought against persons publishing on the internet and that no steps will be taken which have the effect of impeding free access to the internet.

I do not believe that Dr Mahathir’s promise was a licence for bloggers to publish material in a reckless and irresponsible manner. You can imagine the extensive damage that could be done if this were the case. For as many bloggers who publish responsibly there are that many more who do not, hiding behind their anonymity and their mistaken belief in immunity. Their attacks on the reputations of individuals and businesses do have an impact and it will sometimes be necessary for those who have been attacked to take steps to vindicate themselves.

This is at the heart of defamation proceedings, the desire to clear one’s reputation and achieve vindication. In more traditional systems, such as in the UK and Malaysia, an award of damages is seen as being the best means of vindication. The award is intended to represent to the world at large the inaccuracy and lack of truth in the offending statements. They are also intended to deter, through a ‘chilling effect’, publications of a similar nature. The courts do not order the publication of an apology, the failure to voluntarily do so by the wrongdoer when asked being one of the factors taken into consideration in quantifying damages. In other systems, such as in Germany, the courts do order the publication of an apology.

SOURCE: CNet Asia Blogs

As you may know, two popular Malaysian bloggers have been sued by the pro-Government Malaysian daily New Straits Times for defamation–and one of these bloggers happens to be my fellow CNET Asia blogger Jeff Ooi, whose personal blog Screenshots has gained a following for its commentaries on the political situation in his country.

I’ve yet to meet Jeff personally, but he has always impressed me with his coverage of the IT scene in Malaysia, and more so by his courage in expressing his political views over at Screenshots. The tagline of his Screenshots blog is very apt: “Thinking Allowed. Thinking Aloud.”

First off I’d like to wish Jeff good luck and express my support. I’d like to give the aggrieved parties over at the New Straits Times the benefit of the doubt, but it’s hard, really, not to think this is an attempt to silence bloggers who have expressed views critical of the administration.

In the Philippines, popular opinion columnist and blogger Manuel Quezon III (whose grandfather, incidentally, was the President of the Philippines during World War II) has cited Jeff’s case on his personal blog at

I had the pleasure of meeting Malaysian blogger Jeff Ooi last April during a SEAPA conference on “Free Expression in Asian Cyberspace” held in Manila. Now, there’s news he’s been slapped with a defamation suit by a Malaysian newspaper. He’s a dedicated and very nice guy. So, by way of expressing solidarity in his time of adversity, as he himself says, Good night and Good Luck, Jeff.


SOURCE: 3540 Jalan Sudin

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Please, Sir
Not The NST

I am scribbling something here. But before that, let me wish my Muslim brothers and sisters “Selamat Menyambut Awal Muharram”.

Back to my “scribbling”. Just my thoughts to put in a letter to the Prime Minister. The Deputy Prime Minister, maybe. Heck, the entire Cabinet. Not that anyone of them will care. I am just a blogger. One of thousands. What does anybody care, really?

But why (to) our PM or DPM? Or to the rest of their Cabinet colleagues?

Well, because it concerns the NST which (I don’t think this needs further explanation) is politically affiliated with the powers-that-be.

And I am very concerned about the NST and my many friends who are still at the NST.

SOURCE: Rantings by MM

Friday, January 19, 2007
Bloggers Fight Back!

Ok, let’s put this conversation up front and centre, shall we? Our blogbros Jeff and Rocky are being sued, as you all know. We may not all agree with everything they say but that is not the point. The point is, this sort of heavyhanded intimidation is an impediment to democracy because it impedes freedom of speech and limits our people’s access to alternative views about current events. It insults all of us because it assumes that we cannot come up with the ‘right’ opinion if we are allowed to see all the different perspectives on a particular subject. It is a blatant form of censorship.

So, this is what we need to do:

First, stay united on this issue, which is the right of bloggers to express their opinions in cyberspace. Responsible bloggers do not write mere gossip or lies, so must be free to write what they want.

SOURCE: The Scribe

Friday, January 19, 2007
Blogger Lwn NSTP: Terima Kasih Atas Simpati

A Kadir Jasin

[Komen menggunakan pengenalan anonymous tidak akan dilayan. Sila gunakan nama sebenar atau nama samaran yang sesuai. Komen yang berbau perkauman dan mengandungi unsur-unsur hasutan dan fitnah tidak akan disiarkan. Terima kasih]

SEPERTI banyak di kalangan blogger, pembahas dan pelawat sudah maklum, dua sahabat kita iaitu Ahirudin Atan (Rocky’s Bru) dan Jeff Ooi (Screenshots) telah disaman oleh New Straits Times Press (Malaysia) Berhad dan beberapa orang pekerja atasannya.

Banyak blogger, pembahas dan pelawat, sama ada melalui komen mereka di pelbagai blog atau melalui panggilan telefon dan sms, telah menyatakan simpati dan sokongan kepada Ahirudin dan Jeff. Ada yang menawarkan bantuan kewangan dan kepakaran.

Saya telah berhubung dengan Rocky dan Jeff beberapa kali mengenai hal ini. Untuk makluman saudara dan saudari sekalian, penubuhan sebuah tabung bagi melindungi blogger, bermula dengan Rocky dan Jeff, sedang diusahakan.

Secara langsung, tabung ini menyumbang kepada usaha mempertahankan kebebasan bersuara seperti termaktub di dalam Perlembagaan negara kita.