Global Opinions


DOWNLOAD: The Amended Statement of Claims against Rocky

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4

ANALYSIS. The day Rocky made his first appearance on January 25 to defend the defamation suit taken against him by The NSTP & Gang of Four, WALK WITH US went on record to expose the ultimate agenda of the plaintiffs — that is to muzzle the entire blogosphere, damn the bloggers AND censure the blog commentators by misusing an instrument of law — defamation suit!

Subsequently, we told you how Kalimullah Hassan, the dominant plaintiff among The NST & Gang of Four, has misused defamation suits to muzzle Husam Musa and Matthias Chang, who had blown his cover as a plunderer of the national wealth. He doesn’t have a strategy per se, but his tactic is to invoke subjudice to stop you from exposing his money trails.

Now, the jigsaw puzzle is piecing together to tell you the big picture. The proof lies in the amended Statement of Claims against Rocky.

The amended Statement of Claims will show you that, of the 48 articles in Rocky’s blog that the plaintiffs cited defamatory and wanted to be removed, most if not all are related to Kalimullah Hassan the individual and his personal interests!

To let you be the judge, we have obtained the documents from sources within Shearn Delamore, and published here, in four parts, to help you get a good grasp of the merits of the case. As we are not plagiarists — unlike Brenden John Pereira — please allow us to attribute to Rishwant Singh of Shearn Delamore as the author of the said documents.

Take ACID TEST NO.1 as to why Kalimullah has wanted to censure the entire community of blog commentators. What does he rely on to prove Rocky has defamed him and the rest?

Turn to Page 225 of the amended Statement of Claims (it’s in Part 4 of the same documents we published in this website), in which the NSTP & Gang of Four assert the following in Paragraph 28:

28. All readers of the Rocky’s Bru weblog understood references in the defamatory articles to:-

1st Plaintiff (The NSTP)
2nd Plaintiff (Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan)
3rd Plaintiff (Hishamuddin Aun)
4th Plaintiff (Syed Feisal Albar)
5th Plaintiff (Brenden John Pereira)

and read it together in Paragraph 33 of the same documents deposited by the plaintiffs:

33. The plaintiffs will rely on the following facts and matters in support of their claim for an injunction and general, aggravated and exemplary damages:-

(i) the defendant’s course of conduct in publishing and continuing to publish defamatory articles of and concerning the plaintiffs and the Newspapers published by the 1st plaintiff suggest that the defendant has a motive or dissatisfaction vis-à-vis the plaintiffs;

(iv) the defendant has allowed members of the public with an internet connection to view all his articles, journals, letters, comments, posts and statements of and concerning the plaintiffs, including the defamatory articles, going back to 1.5.2006, if not earlier;

(v) the defendant allows and publishes and re-publishes viewers’ comments on the Rocky’s Bru weblog that are defamatory of the plaintiffs and these comments can be viewed by any person who visits the Rocky’s Bru weblog. The plaintiffs will aver and/or plead to such publications upon the completion of discovery;

(vi) the defendant frequently diverts viewer traffic from the Rocky’s Bru weblog to other weblogs which publish similar defamatory material of and concerning the plaintiffs, most notably to http://www.jeffooi.com/ and http://www.aisehman.org/;

(vii) the defendant frequently reproduces or permits the re-production on the Rocky’s Bru weblog posts appearing on other weblogs, most notably from http://www.jeffooi.com/. These posts are defamatory of the plaintiffs and each or any combination of them;

(viii) the defendant frequently links viewers to previous posts published on the Rocky’s Bru weblog that are defamatory of the plaintiffs or each or any combination of them;

Fellow Malaysians! You have to stand up and make a statement, whether:

1 ) As blog commentators (and some are anonymous), you have abetted Rocky to publish what The NSTP & Gang of Four said are defamatory to them?

2 ) As Malaysian citizens, you can’t comment on The NST and Gang of Four have lied and plagiarised?

3 ) As a blogger, Rocky can’t link to his own posts and other bloggers’ posts?

4 ) As a blogger, Rocky must NOT allow other bloggers from linking to his blog?

5 ) Other bloggers cannot link to what Rocky has blogged?

What make The NSTP, Kalimullah and his Gang so special that they should be the one setting the laws for bloggers, and setting the law on how we should express our opinions?

If this is not muzzling of our freedom of expression, what is?

And what Rocky’s motive are we talking about when Kalimullah has a bigger, more sinister motive of his own?

Remember, Defamation Act is just a legal instrument that Kalimullah had used, re-sued, and misused to shroud his attacks on opinion leaders who don’t share his views!

Stop him before he stops you!

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.
(more…)

The NST, with dirty finger prints of Kalimullah Masheerul Hassan all over its tabloid pages, has started another round spin-doctoring to boost his political master’s tattered image.

Reporters Adeline Paul Raj and Rupa Damodaran have both told their friends the copy printed on the frontpage of The NST February 6 wasn’t their original stories. It was news-slanted by deputy group editor Kamrul Idris Zulkifli at the instruction of The God.

In the story, Kamrul used the country’s international reserves as an indicator of Malaysia’s economy, hoodwinking NST readers to accept Kalimullah’s spin that everybody should feel good about the increasing international reserves.

Kalimullah had thought big numbers are good. Kalimullah had thought that international reserves that had increased from US$30.85 billion (1999) to US$70.48 billion (2005) is good because the numbers are big.

Kalimullah was proven wrong on his particular ignorance of macro-economics, and Kamrul’s too, by no less than Professor Emeritus Mohamed Ariff, who is the executive director of the Malaysian Institute of Economic Research (MIER).

And Kalimullah had to print Dr Mohamed Ariff’s rebuttal in The NST (February 9) or else the whole world of academics will treat the spin-doctor a greater pariah.

Read what Dr Ariff says about The NST, and by extension the Abdullah Administration being wrong, hopelessly wrong.

But when bloggers Jeff Ooi and Rocky had proved Kalimullah wrong for a lesser sin, they were selectively prosecuted using the Defamation Act! How about that for your God in the newsroom?
(more…)

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…)

A reader by the name of A Voice wrote a thought-provoking piece in response to the AFP story: Bloggers undeterred by lawsuit. His thoughts deserve a prominent space for further in-depth discussions.

EXCERPTS:

wwu-kalimullah.gifWe saw Kalimullah Hassan was successful to initially silence Husam Musa and Harakahdaily on the ECM-Avenue merger issue.

That was when the guerilla web/blog started to takeover and dessiminate online. It was heard that this sparked a minority challenge to the merger at the Avenue EGM. But it died down.

Matthias Chang attempted to garner attention but he went overboard with the accusation of corruption. Kali sued him and achieved the same “ceasefire”.

Finally, it was within the UMNO Penerangan Negeri sessions at FT, Selangor and Penang that they could not stop the issue anymore from the floor. Even when they had a Parliamentary PAC, it was hot for only 2 sessions and then, quiet.

(more…)

What these defamation suits against bloggers actually mean, and how bloggers are taking it – from the defendants’ point of view. It’s now on YouTube.

wwu-yutube300107.jpg

Video clip courtesy Zan Azlee of Fatbidin.com, under the series: ‘I May Be Malaysian, But I Carry A Big Stick’.

To view the video, click here to YouTube.

EXCERPTS:

It is only in the larger context of freedom of expression that the dichotomy between journalist and bloggers can be resolved. In Malaysia’s authoritarian environment, bloggers such as Ooi and Rocky are in the frontline of government action to curtail freedom of expression. As individuals, they are subject to legal, economic and political pressure to conform.

With the elections around the corner and the credibility of the current government shot to pieces by the debacle around water, tolls and petrol prices, it is impossible to see actions of plaintiffs merely within legal rights.

The granting of injunctions that demand the removal of content before the courts make a final and ultimate decision on the matter, creates an avenue for legal censorship that the ruling coalition has been waiting for. Be sure, if the state is successful in ensuring that bloggers kow-tow, it will not be long before other bloggers as well as independent media such as malaysiakini and the Sun will have to choose between shutting up or shutting down.

It is not just bloggers that should unite, but all those who stand for free and responsible expression.

SOURCE: Malaysiakini
URL:
www.malaysiakini.com/opinionsfeatures/62781

Blogs and boundaries of responsibility
Premesh Chandran
Jan 30, 07 3:01pm

The political role of the Internet came to Malaysia in the form of Reformasi websites, following the arrest of former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim in September 1998. Armed with their dial-up connections, early users would eagerly lap up the latest news and gossip from sites such as Mahafiruan (Great Pharaoh), FreeMalaysia and Laman Reformasi.

Published anonymously, these websites would pour scorn on the prime minister and his cabinet, mixing facts with a healthy dose of myth, speculation and propaganda. Yet, with the mainstream media cowed by government control, these websites developed a strong following, ebbing only when the Reformasi movement waned and lost its steam.

In formulating malaysiakini, the founders took a conscious decision to publish a site with a face. We would publish news that matters, and stand behind those posting. All our articles carried bylines. Readers who contributed to the Letters section would have their identity protected, with the editor carrying the responsibility for letters published. Over the past seven years, malaysiakini has successfully built a reputation for credibility.

Bloggers have a similar choice. Remain anonymous and publish as you please or identify yourself as risk legal action for every word that is published.
(more…)

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