Bloggers Legal Fund


EXCERPTS:

Now, the eldest child of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad has decided to turn more active and has agreed to become a trustee of a fund to help two Malaysian bloggers being sued by the New Straits Times Press (NSTP).

The move by Datin Paduka Marina is being watched closely, with observers waiting to see the role she will play in the saga, as it follows closely her father’s vocal criticism of the current administration.

‘The space for people to express themselves is small,’ she told The Straits Times.

‘The new administration claims to be more open, but it does not meet people’s expectations because they are trying to touch cyberspace.’

‘What really convinced me to start a blog was seeing comments from people who wanted to restrict comments on the Internet. I felt I must get in right away,’ she said.

SOURCE: Straits Times (Singapore)
URL:
www.straitstimes.com

Jan 31, 2007
Marina Mahathir takes up bloggers’ cause
Activist becomes trustee of fund to help two men sued by NSTP

By Reme Ahmad, Malaysia Bureau Chief

KUALA LUMPUR – DATIN Paduka Marina Mahathir started expressing her frank opinions on her blog 1-1/2 months ago after she heard that officials intended to curb free expression on online journals.
(more…)

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Reliable sources told the Clerk-of-Works that four personalities, a muhibbah team portraying the spirit of Bangsa Malaysia, have given their consent to be the trustees for the Bloggers Legal Fund currently being set up as bloggers Jeff Ooi and Rocky are being dragged into the court by The NST and senior staff members of the newspaper in a defamation suit termed as Davids vs. Goliath.

The Star today suggested two bloggers, Datuk Marina Mahathir, the former Prime Minister’s daughter, and Datuk A. Kadir Jasin, former NSTP group editor-in-chief, as among those who will stand as the trustees.

The full list of the trustees is expected to be announced by the besieged bloggers on Thursday, January 25, after the hearing of interparte injunction against Rocky at the High Court, Kuala Lumpur.

The other trustees are believed to be a former international banker, and a retired senior government servant who was involved in the country’s IT policy development.

It is understood that a legal firm is being appointed as the manager for the escrow account, and an auditor will be appointed at the same time.

Meanwhile, facilities like online banking, ATM transfer, cash and cheque deposits will be made available for bloggers and members of the public to donate to the Bloggers Legal Fund once it becomes functional by next week.