Poh Huai Bin/ Sixthseal.com Sued

Disclaimer: All the contents of below post are content reproduced from relevant sources eg: Lowyat.net, The Star Malaysia, sixthseal.com, etc. All comments below are owned by the commentators themselves and does not reflect the opinions of this blog’s author.

(Picture is a courtesy of Lowyat.net)

You may, and may not know this, but Google has decided to open their doors here in Malaysia, right here in KL soon, and I’m assuming that there will be loads of working opportunities available for Malaysians. Soon you might hear Malaysians telling you that they’re working for Google, and it might be nothing but the truth.

A lot of people may have anticipate Google in Malaysia for various reasons. Most of it because Google will provide working opportunities and career advancement, but I daresay that Google had no idea that they’d be facing a lawsuit once they landed in Malaysia. What a way to welcome a huge conglomerate like Google.

I’m sure most of you have read this particular articles in The Star:

KOTA KINABALU: The director of a fish head curry restaurant which is recommended by Lonely Planet is suing a blogger and Google for defamation.

Jothys Sdn Bhd director Tharumaraj Sivaperumal filed a RM6mil civil suit at the Kota Kinabalu High Court, naming blogger Poh Huai Bin as the first defendant and California-based Google Inc as the second defendant.

The suit filed on Monday is over allegedly defamatory statements made about Jothys Fish Head Curry Restaurant here which was posted in May last year by Poh, who is originally from Sibu, Sarawak and now resides in Kuala Lumpur.

The company, which is represented by counsel Marcel Jude Joseph, is seeking exemplary or punitive damages and an order to restrain Poh from defaming the restaurant on the Internet.

Lonely place: Tharumaraj says business at his restaurant in Kota Kinabalu has been affected by the blogger’s negative postings.

The company is also seeking an order from the court to remove the offending articles from Google and other popular search engines used on the Internet.

The company claimed that the alleged defamatory statements published by both defendants would be injurious to its business.

Tharumaraj said he felt very let down when the blogger demeaned his fish head curry and banana leaf restaurant and urged the people to “avoid it like a bad case of herpes”.

“There were many people who posted positive things about my restaurant in his blog but it was removed and only the negative chats were kept,’’ he said, adding that he did not know the blogger.

On why he decided to sue Google, he said if one used Yahoo or other search engines, the offending blog does not appear immediately but in Google, it would show up first.

As a result of the defendants’ action, Tharumaraj claimed he suffered losses and damages and his restaurant’s reputation had been affected, both locally and internationally.

The plaintiff claimed that the restaurant, which opened in 1987, was known globally and had been reported as a well-known destination in Sabah in a global TV and book series known as Lonely Planet, which was an authority for tourists throughout the world.

The company also claimed that Google conducts business within the jurisdiction of Malaysian courts by reason of the fact that its search engine is used regularly by Internet users in the country.

When contacted, a Google official in Kuala Lumpur said the company could not comment on cases that were in litigation.

________________________________________________

All right, since The Star is a mainstream newspaper and is not allowed to  re-published the entire ‘defamatory’ article (actually, it’s not defamatory, it’s libel, duh!) for the entire Netizen to see in order to protect the innocent people from the ugliness of a lawsuit, this is the article Google and Mr. Sixthseal.com aka Mr. Poh Huai Bin was sued for… it’s this exact article below. CLICK on the picture to read it.

Just so that you know…while Jothys’ Fishhead Curry have every single rights to sue this particular blogger for defamation/libel, but according to law, Mr. Sixthseal aka Mr. Poh Huai Bin also have every single rights to counter the lawsuit with ‘justified truth’.

Okay, maybe you’re not familiar with all these legal term. But I’m quite familiar with it because as I was in journalism line before, and we were forced to paint these legal terms in our brain like a tattoo:

Defamation- Defamation occurs when a person expresses words that may lower another person’s reputation in the eyes of the public.

Libel-  Libel is when such words are expressed in a permanent form which is usually visible to the eye, like in a book, e-mail or picture.

Slander- Slander is when such words are expressed in a temporary form, usually when spoken or made by body movements.

Justified truth- definition of knowledge that states for someone to have knowledge of something, it must be true, it must be believed to be true, and the belief must be justified.

I’m 100% sure that Mr. Sixthseal was not the only one who commented negatively on a certain food joint. A lot of other food bloggers criticizes what they eat and most give honest opinions on what they eat, and usually, instead of suing one another, if certain food joints received negative comments about their service or what they served, they would do their best to improvise their service and whatnot instead of crying foul and dragging people to court for stating their honest personal opinion about their food and services. Most are very courteous and  would accept criticism in a very mature manner. As the saying goes, one’s man meat is another man’s poison. Some may say certain product is good, while some other will not find it up to their liking.

I won’t say who is right or who is wrong here… but I can certainly say that speech is definitely not free in Malaysia. That’s all I can say.


Cleffairy: How many of you would agree with me that win or loose, everyone involved will have a great publicity and exposure? And did you know that in most court cases, settlements out of court is common?

About cleffairy

Recently having fascination with ancient history.
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7 Responses to Poh Huai Bin/ Sixthseal.com Sued

  1. kathy says:

    Ya one man meat might be another man’s poison. Each person’s taste is different. Some may like the food there some may not.

    Surely there are others who gave glowing review about the restaurant.

    One person negative review shouldn’t have that much influence on the business unless that person is some sort of celebrity.

    • cleffairy says:

      I’d say, the shop wouldn’t loose business if their food is really good. I mean, impossible they dun have regular customer or something of that sort? There must be something wrong with the restaurant!

  2. Steven says:

    I believe in the FREEDOM OF CONSUMERS’ SPEECH. I believe consumer has the right to openly critic companies and their products if it is honest and/or true even though it could be defamatory or strong words which may cause the company to lose financially or their reputation, whereas the company have the right to openly challenge & dispute their critics if they are wrong.

    The right of companies to sue for defamation should be severely limited, if not abolished altogether especially for food related companies or in this case restaurant. Consumers should not fear defamation suits if what they have written are true even though it is defamatory.

    I am very much against the abuse of the defamation law by companies who misuse the law to silence their critics. Company exists just to make money and what they are actually protecting is their pocket. The only way to fight against companies from abusing the defamation law is to remind them about consumers’ rights and to show them that they have forgotten that their boss is their customers and their customers have the power to judge and not the courts.

    Therefore, I have just set up a weblog http://malaysiadefamation.blogspot.com/ to create awareness, highlight those defamation cases in Malaysia which should never be dragged to court and to criticise on the old backdated English defamation law adopted by Malaysia courts which is totally outdated and not in line with modern law, time and society. My blog is still very new, but hopefully within time it may create some awareness and do some good for the sake of freedom.

  3. Pingback: Banana Leaf Address Book

  4. Maya says:

    Hi cleffairy – I read this in The Star and thought, what rubbish! If this happened to go through, it’ll set a precedent for all other bloggers to get sued for voicing our opinions. The best way to tackle this is for the said restaurant to invite other bloggers to go taste their dish – if they are confident theirs is the best – and let the blogs write what they taste. The proof really is in the eating. This is better crisis management than taking on Google. Publicity in the media can be such a two-edged (and sharp) sword. It either benefits the person creating the news or it backfires. On another note, happy new year to you! Gong xi fa cai!

  5. Martin Lo says:

    Customers comments mean the restaurant owner have to look into the matter and show improvement if the comments are really true. To sue a customer is a very stupid attempt and would not help to make his restaurant gaining popularity!

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