Malaysian pol charges blogger with libel-Global Voice

January 6, 2010

Malaysia: Press Freedom Advocate Sues Blogger

Mong Palatino

Global Voices: December 25, 2009

A veteran journalist-blogger is being sued for libel by a politician who is known for espousing press freedom in Malaysia.

Zaid Ibrahim, former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, was offended by a blog article written by A Kadir Jasin last October. Aside from suing the blogger, Zaid wants the writer to apologize.

What is peculiar in this case is that Zaid is known for supporting Malaysian bloggers who have been sued by powerful individuals and corporations. Zaid himself is also a blogger. In fact, he made a rebuttal to the “offensive” article written by Jasin in his own blog.

Rocky’s Bru is surprised that Zaid is now part of an elite group of individuals who are suing bloggers

I can’t explain how Zaid Ibrahim, whom I once described as “maverick”, has gone down this way.

Now Zaid has joined the queue of influential and wealthy individuals who are suing bloggers.

With his latest action, I no longer want to describe Zaid as a “maverick”. A maverick is unique, someone who dares go against the flow, a person you respect – even grudgingly – for his principles.

Mat Cendana is worried that the case may lead to more defamation suits in Malaysia

In my opinion, this post, while certainly not flattering to Zaid, isn’t of “saman class” – heck, if this is ruled as defamation, then we’ll see at least 10 such cases being filed at the courts daily!

Jebat is questioning the basis for filing the suit:

What is so wrong about the article which made him issue a writ of summon to Kadir Jasin?

Is there any element of defamation in it? Didn’t Zaid write a few allegatory statements concerning Kadir Jasin in his own rebuttal as well?

So, what is the contentious issue? All of Pakatan Rakyat supporters are supporting Zaid Ibrahim anyway. Who cares if one negative article was published in blogosphere?

You mean to say, people cannot write whatever they want? Since when?

When he and all the opposition bloggers write tremendous amount of unfair accusations and uncouth articles defaming everyone else, it is fine. But when one is confronted with a ghost from the past, he became rattled and couldn’t sleep peacefully.

The irony is, he would like to be seen as liberal and the fighter of press freedom and freedom of speech.

Nevertheless, it is his right to sue people as much as it was Kadir Jasin’s right to write that article. Unlike some people who ran away like a coward, I am sure Kadir Jasin will commence all the necessary legal actions to defend his article based on any evidence that he can produce.

At bigdogdotcom, the writer is disappointed that Zaid is using the case to gain political and media mileage

What Zaid is trying to achieve is unclear. Obviously, since joining PKR, Zaid how has been infected with the acute ‘Suit Syndrome’ that only Former-Abuse-of-Power Anwar “Mat King Leather” Ibrahim suffer.

Now Zaid has been infected with the Acute Lackofattentionitis dissease.

How far can Zaid go with this is also unclear. Obviously, he needed the media and legal circus to make himself ‘relevant’ to stay on visible

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