THE JOURNAL consists of selected, most notable and newsworthy POSTINGS OF THE DAY.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Blogs - Definition

Blog content only a personal opinion

A letter by Michael in Malaysiakini of 30.1.2007

I write this letter out of interest in what is being discussed these days about bloggers. There seems to be the general view that blogs or bloggers are part time journalists or want-to-be journalists. While it might be obvious why many people have this view, this certainly is not what a blog is. A blog by definition is in fact:

  • a private webpage which is published by either an individual or a group of individuals.
  • are commonly personal journals/diaries and are used to comment on all sorts of topics depending on the interests of the blogger (author).
  • is usually updated frequently, maybe monthly, weekly or even daily, all depending on the blogger.
Most blogs enable visitors to post comments and/or suggestions allowing interactivity between the blogger and visitors. Short for ‘Web Log' this term refers to a list of journal entries posted on a Web page.


What the above implies is that blogs are not by nature online newspapers and thus are not to be held to the same high standard of truth as newspapers are. Now I know many people are going to complain that the two blogs that are being sued are different and should be held to the same standard. But they are not. They are, in fact, personal. In other words, they are they thoughts and opinions of a person’s own mind - nothing more or less than that.

They pose their own thoughts on certain subjects and then allow other people to post their own thoughts on what the writer has said, no different then you sitting in your local coffee shop and telling your friend you do not like a certain actor because you think he is conceited (even though you have no actual proof of that) and your friend disagrees with you.

Yes, the Internet has a much larger audience and is in the public domain, but no person was ever forced to go to a website, no person was forced to read it and no person was told this is the truth - believe it. All blogs usually post that these are of opinions of the author only. Similar to writing letters to the editor of Malaysiakini or The News Straits Times or The Star. How is it any different?

No matter what your beliefs are, no matter what you think, facts are facts and the fact here is that blogs are defined as a personal diary or journal (not to be confused with newspapers which are supposed to report news and the truth).

Blogs have never stated their contents are the actual truth but only an opinion of one person that may or may not agree with those of other people.

Look up the definition of blogs and bloggers and you will find hundreds of sites and dictionaries explaining the same as above. You can not simply rewrite a definition just because you do not agree with it. Even if a blogger claims they have conducted research and that their statements are based on actual reports, their content are still a personal journal and nothing really anymore than that.

Lastly, I would just like to say to your readers to do a little research yourself on the Internet and see how many mainstay newspapers around the world have actually taken a lawsuit against a writer or a person for defamation - you will find very few.

What most respectable newspapers would do is to instead opt to write a rebuttal about what had been written about them. Why does the NST not do the same? They have the space and the ability to write even a full-page column about what had been said about them.

Screenshots Hearing 1

Jeff's case: Both sides now bound by 'No-Subjudice' undertaking

Lawyers from both sides of the defamation suit initiated by NSTP et.al against this blogger have agreed to record the following before Justice Malik Ishak in chambers at the High Court of Malaya Kuala Lumpur this morning:

By agreement, all parties henceforth agree not to publish any articles, comments or posts regarding the dispute presently before the High Court in this action that may be regarded as subjudice or that may prejudice the fair trial of the case.

Prior to this, the plaintiffs had on January 11 obtained an exparte injunction against this blogger, requiring him to remove 12 + 3 alleged defamatory postings posted on Screenshots between February and December last year.

The injunction also restrains this blogger, "whether by himself, or through his employees and agents", from republishing these posting in my blog or on the world wide web, until the disposal of the defamation suit.

'Fatally deficient'

I have since instructed my lawyers to apply for the suit to be struck out as the Statement of Claims served on me is deemed 'fatally deficient'. The Court has fixed March 6 for the hearing of the striking out.

My lawyers have also filed for the exparte injunction to be set aside.
As such, the interparte injunction and the setting aside of the ex parte injunction will be fixed for mention on March 6 when hearing starts for the striking out application.

My co-defence lawyer Haris Ibrahim had gone on record by saying that the judge would first deal with the striking out application before hearing other matters when the parties meet in court on March 6.

“The interparte injunction and the setting aside of the ex parte injunction will be fixed for mention that day. If the striking out application is successful, the defamation suit against Ooi will be dropped and there will be no injunction left to contest,” he said.

Meanwhile, the plaintiffs' lawyers had obtained an ad interim to sustain the exparte injunction until the hearing starts.

The hearing in chambers this morning was over within minutes. The lawyers were already stepping out of the lift as I was to get into Civil Court 6 on the 11th Floor.

I am grateful that some bloggers an blog commenters have made time to Walk With Us.

Thank you for your time and paying for our breakfast and coffee. I hope you commenters start your blogs soon, and those who are already blogging, stay on course! (Screenshots) .

Monday, January 29, 2007

Amnesty International

Amnesty International Malaysia,
Josef Roy,
Executive Director.

Monday, 29th January, 2007

Dear Sir,

I am of the view that AIM should take a positon on Freedom of Speech, Blogs and the Internet Press to a case closer at hand in the courts and need urgent action. I refer to the case of NSTP and officers vs Ahirudin and Jeff. Is this warranted and if so, should the laws of the country be amended for the internet medium of press.

Thank you and looking forward to urgent action by AIM and a reply to me.

Yours Sincerely,

Rajahram

Rocky's Bru Hearing 2

Court hearing, Jan 30th
Wisma Denmark, Monday

NSTP & Ors v Ahirudin bin Attan
Civil Suit No S3-23-2-2007

At the proposal of the Plaintiffs' lawyers, the court today
recorded the following:

"That the parties agree to henceforth not publish any
article, comment or post regarding the dispute presently
before the High Court in this action that may be regarded as
sub judice or that may prejudice the fair trial of the
action."

The hearing for the striking out application has been fixed
for Feb 22, 2007 at 2.30 pm.Monday. (Rocky's Bru).

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Rocky's Bru Hearing 1

To keep you informed of the latest on Ahirudin's case:

Court hearing, 25th Jan

Dear bloggers and readers,

Thank you for all your support and encouragement.Without going
into the merits of the case, here is a brief update of what happened in Court:

1. Today was set for hearing of the injunction against me.
2. My lawyers filed an application to strike out the suit yesterday.
3. On the request of both parties, the Court set 22 February (230pm) to hear the striking out application. It is to be heard before the injunction application which is
also set for mention on the same day.For clarity, there is no injunction order
against me.
4. Further, the lawyers for the Plaintiffs this morning raised the issue of comments by readers made on this blog in respect of my postings of 18 and 24 January which may be seen as prejudicing the case. My lawyers asked for time to look at the said comments.The Court set 29 January (900am) for both parties to inform the learned Judge of my position.In view that the case is before the Court, it is for the Court to decide on all matters pertaining to the same. We must respect the judicial process. As such, I have no alternative but to decline comments related to this case to ensure that the proceedings run smoothly and fairly.

I will continue to update you on developments as they happen.(Rocky's Bru).

We wish Ahirudin and Jeff all the very best in their hearings.

Amazing AirAsia

Here is a clip for all low cost travellers:


AirAsiaX All Set To Repeat AirAsia's Phenomenal Success.

AirAsiaX, the world's newest long-haul budget airline, is all set to repeat the phenomenal success of AirAsia which within five years has become the region's largest low-cost carrier.

AirAsia X founder Datuk Tony Fernandes, who is also the group chief executive officer of AirAsia, said here Wednesday that the new airline was acquiring 20 planes initially with its first flight to Britain expected in July.In an interview with Bernama here, the award-winning CEO said after taking AirAsia to such heights, he was now very excited about his new venture which he would market just as aggressively.

Fernandes launched his brainchild in Kuala Lumpur on Jan 5 as a tie-up between AirAsia and Fly Asian Express (FAX), eyeing destinations in Europe, India, China and Australia. Fares from Britain to Malaysia are expected to be priced at around 100 pounds sterling (RM700).

Stanstead, one hour from here, has a very good infrastructure including being a transport hub. He is also looking at three other airports -- Manchester, Birmingham and Dublin and all have their own strengths.

"Things are progressing well. In the first week of February, we'll commence the purchase of our new planes." Fernandes said further afield, he had also received proposals from nine other airports across Europe, including Rome, Paris, Frankfurt, Berlin, as we'll as in Spain and Scandinavia.

"So many people in Europe have e-mailed me wanting to invest in AirAsia X. I think it's a good branding for Malaysia," he said in his customary humble way. As for Britain, its first destination in Europe, Fernandes said he hoped to mount daily flights to the country with the deal to purchase two planes due to be wrapped up soon.

What is AirAsia X's key selling point? "Of course the cheap fares but there is also another thing. What people are finding out in relation to (budget airline) Oasis in Hong Kong is that when you arrive in Kuala Lumpur (KL), you have AirAsia, so you can go anywhere in South East Asia. "So many people said to me that they don't have to go to Spain for a holiday. They can come to KL, they can go to Kota Kinabalu, Bali, Langkawi..all that is available from Kuala Lumpur. "So that is a big attraction to Europeans arriving in KL but you can get across to all of South East Asia".

Fernandes also has set his sight on destinations in Eastern Europe, describing Prague, Warsaw and Moscow as "that's the new world and very interesting".

AirAsia's "Now Everyone Can Fly" branding is a success story even beyond what Fernandes could have imagined. What is in store for AirAsia X? "I don't think it would be any different from AirAsia. We started with four destinations, we've 70 now in five years.

"We'll be aggressive, we are very proud of that. Who knows? When we first started with just one plane, who would have said that we would have 200 A320's," he said with a hearty laugh - BERNAMA.

I have great faith in Tony. He means what he says. If he can do it for AirAsia, he surely can for AirAsiaX. He has shrunk the world and lived up to his mantra of "Now, everyone can Fly". How many of you would like to travel to places with him? Exciting days are ahead for the travelling world.....yes, WORLD.



Heathcliff Cartoon


..............if only every dog has its day.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Letter to UN




SRI LANKA WATCH
Friday, 26th January, 2007

Your Excellency,
Mr. Ban Ki Moon,
UN SECRETARY GENERAL.

Dear Sir,

It is with deep regret and much consternation I write to inform
you of the much forgotten war in the NE of SRI LANKA.

Without the UN and International support, this war of attrition,
30 years precisely, will see no end. Such is the situation in this
damned country that I hope you will focus your due and rightful
attention to this small island nation. 7o,ooo lives have been lost
and war which successive governments have been unable to control.

Please give your due attention to this pressing matter
as soon as possible.

Rajahram Ramalingam
Director,
SRI LANKA WATCH

________________________
Click, bookmark & read daily: http://www.srilankawatch.org

On Voltaire

Rousseau sent his latest article to Voltaire for review; Voltaire after having read, wrote to him, “Your latest work is the most intelligent effort, that I could never anticipate of its kind, to make us think that we actually are not humans at all, and that we should leave up our present day civilization and should go to Jungles and Deserts as naturally. Really we are just like other animals and we in fact do wrong when we do such inferior and mean acts like thinking and living on the basis of our intellect and wisdom.”

Voltaire was a profound advocate of using the light of intellect and wisdom. Rousseau on the other hand was known for his anti-rational philosophy.

Despite being against using the intellect and wisdom, Rousseau however himself was a strong supporter of a kind of thoughtful dogmatism. Voltaire, being an advocate of using intellect and wisdom, was of the view that humans must be free in their thinking. That is, there should be, as he thought, complete liberty of thought because if there is any restriction on freethinking, we humans then cannot live a life, which would be based on the light of intellect and wisdom.

The very tricky and “wise” attacks on wisdom by Rousseau however put Voltaire under a dilemma for he was very much against all what Rousseau wanted to preach and at the same time he could not ask Rousseau to stop his non-sense anti-rational preaches because if he asked him so, actually he would be putting a restriction on thinking of Rousseau. Obviously, if he tried to put any such restriction, he would go against his own point of view that was in support of full liberty in thinking.

How did Voltaire manage to come out of this dilemma? It was in the form of his famous reply to Rousseau, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

Why Voltaire thought it necessary to disapprove of the Rousseau’s point of view but to still hold his right to preach whatever he wanted to say?

Voltaire’s position actually was an accurate reflection of all the intellectual environment of the west of his day. It is very important to mention however that the Voltaire’s intellectual environment was gradually so developed that now it was possible for him to take the position where he was disapproving and holding some that sort of things which really could not be so disapproved or held out just a few centuries ago.

Bloggers Beware

I think the legal proceedings initiated by NSTP and its officers against Ahirudin and Jeff is very prejudicial to the freedom of speech and the evolution of the internet press.

This is a test case and the judgement would have far reaching implications to bloggers and the internet medium in Malaysia. And mind you we have only 13 more years to achieve developed nation status.

Although everything said is subject to the same laws of the nation but nothing worthwhile will ever be said and the truth will never be made public for all to know if we resort to the courts to test freedom of speech for fear of legal action and the prohibitive cost involved.

Mind you these people are not paid to write and nor do they sell their works. Their responsibility is to their fellow citizens to be better informed on the goings on in their country.

The rich and the powerful can always hide behind the cloak of legal action and get away with deception and corruption and nonsense at public expense. What we get is a sick society unable to distinguish fact from fiction and good from evil.

Remember, was it Voltaire who once said " I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it." Today we may not die but certainly will be made bankrupts for telling the truth.

RAJAHRAM