Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Rais against blogger: Its not about money, its about morality

Information, Communication and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim finally succeeded in giving a blogger 'the lesson of a lifetime' for defaming him in a blog article. Its not about the RM400,000 being awarded to him but a reminder for bloggers alike to be more careful with their writings.

Kuala Lumpur High Court judge Zabariah Mohd Yusof yesterday ordered Amizudin Ahmat to pay RM300,000 in damages and another RM100,000 in costs to the minister.

In January this year, Rais, 69, sued Amizudin, 42, who is also a Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) Youth committee member, for defamation over an article posted in the latter's blog, sharpshooterblogger.blogspot.com, on or about Dec 28 last year.

In her ruling, Justice Zabariah said the amount awarded to Rais was reasonable considering the facts and nature of the allegation (here). She awarded the amount for compensatory, aggravated and exemplary damages.

In his suit, Rais said the entire words in the Malay language article were malicious and defamatory of him and the words in the article meant and/or were understood to mean that he was guilty of a serious offence of having raped and capable of murdering his Indonesian maid.

A woman who worked as a maid for him for eight years was later reported by an Indonesian news portal as denying that she had ever been mistreated or raped by her employer.

Rais told reporters the ruling 'should provide adequate reflections to all levels of the society, especially those who passed time to write about others, to be careful when writing stories about any individual'.

"It is a great day; it truly reflects our confidence in our judiciary. It also rings a bell for those who constantly write about others in blogs or columns, (to) respect the rights of others," he said.

Well. I believe the blogger would not be able to pay such a big sum, which means he will be made a bankrupt. However, there is a moral to this case - although blogs are personal domains, the owners/writers must be fully responsible with its content.

Let it be a precedent, and I also hope Rais will not vent his anger in this manner anymore...

7 comments:

the arbitrator said...

its fair.

when you defame someone, you must be willing to face the consequences.

it is a good precedent, alrite.

journos and blogger alike are wise people. and being wise doesnt permit them to write anything without proof.

sakuntala said...

rm400,000 does not make rais any richer. this is also about dignity.

and coming from a pakatan rakyat blogger tells everything.

he should be slapped with a few million so that it serves as a lesson to those who feel free to defame people

and to pro-umno blogger who also tried to hammer rais for the maid issue, they too should produce the evidence.

kurdy said...

jai,

if you read bru's blog about the court decision, almost all comments are for the blogger. they were outraged that the blogger was punished for defaming rais yatim.

orang tua, raub said...

penulis blog tidak boleh sewenang-wenangnya memfitnah. biarpun seseorang yang difitnahnya itu benar-benar melakukannya, bukti nyata mestilah disertakan dalam tuduhannya demi mengelakkan tindakan undang2 seperti ini.

janganlah kerana keseronokan menulis, kita lupa bahawa negara ini ada undang2.

kita juga mesti sedar bahawa blog mempunyai pembaca yang ramai dan apa saja yang ditulis sedikit-sebanyak meninggalkan kesan kepada jiwa pembaca.

jadikanlah kes ini sebagai teladan.

Anonymous said...

kesian bloger tu.

kalau aku ada bukti, aku dah bagi dah!

Anonymous said...

so, u think you are free to write anything?

this is not a free country lor....

Anonymous said...

Can you imagine if PR wins and Anwar is acquitted of the sex video and sodomy charges and he then files defamation charges against all the pro-UMNO bloggers and wins.

Lets say there are about 1,000 pro-UMNO bloggers who said very clearly that "Itu Dia!" without even the court cases being completed and found guilty. That is also defamation and he has every right to sue. Let's calculate again.

1,000 x RM 400,000 = RM 400,000,000

Wow! He bacomes the richest PM if he wins and Karpal Singh becomes the richest lawyer for taking all the cases one by one. Ha! Ha!