Major Teoh’s Blog

January 19, 2007

Malaysian newspaper sues bloggers in landmark case

Filed under: General — Major (Rtd) Teoh @ 3:06 pm

Bloggers Unite

Malaysian newspaper sues bloggers in landmark case
Updated : 18-01-2007 Media : Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 18 (Reuters) – A leading Malaysian newspaper has sued two
bloggers for defamation, a company executive and one of the defendants said
on Thursday, in a case the opposition says could stifle freedom of

The New Straits Times, the country’s oldest newspaper group, had filed suits
against Ahirudin Attan and Jeff Ooi over numerous postings in their
respective blogs attacking top company officials, Ahirudin and a NST
executive said.

“The papers have been filed. The nature of the suits is defamation,” said
the executive, who declined to be named. He did not elaborate.

“I am now looking for a lawyer to represent me,” said Ahirudin, a former
editor of Malay Mail, one of the newspapers in the NST stable.

Ooi and NST Chief Executive Syed Faisal Albar could not immediately be
reached for comment.

This is the first instance of bloggers being sued for libel in Malaysia,
where Internet chatrooms are mushrooming amid tight government controls on
mainstream media.

Opposition leader Lim Kit Siang said the suits would have a “chilling
effect” on freedom of bloggers and citizen journalists.

“It will have far-reaching consequences for the healthy, mature and
democratic growth for free speech and expression, not only on the Internet
but in the country as a whole,” he said in a statement.


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