Report lodged against internet website
PETALING JAYA: theSun and Nexnews Group Executive Editor P. Gunasegaram yesterday lodged a complaint against an internet website for carrying a posting inciting people to do bodily harm to Gunasegaram over an article he wrote.
The complaint was made to the Communications and Multimedia Content Forum of Malaysia (CMCF), an industry body set up under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1988 that is tasked with monitoring contents and handling complaints.
Gunasegaram had written an article "The Myth of Mahathir's Invincibility" that appeared in theSun on Wednesday. The website concerned had on the same day reproduced the article and solicited reaction. Several people responded and someone who identified himself as "IImran" suggested that Gunasegaram be shot for his views on Mahathir.
Nexnews Group Editor-in-Chief Ho Kay Tat said: "The website concerned is moderated by blogger Jeff Ooi who we hold responsible for allowing the posting `Somebody, please shoot this Gunasegaram for good' to appear on his website.
"While we have no problem having anyone debate, discuss or even challenge what Gunasegaram wrote and indeed many people have threat of bodily harm is another thing altogether and should be taken seriously," said Ho. "It was irresponsible of Ooi to allow the posting on his website. We do not understand what motivated him to allow it."
Gunasegaram had yesterday morning also written to Ooi demanding that he remove the threat from his website. The posting, which was there for over 24 hours, was subsequently removed.
Ho said it was decided that a formal complaint to CMCF should still be made because there should be no repeat of such internet postings on that or any other website.
"The internet is not a lawless entity where people can do anything they want," he said. "It is still subject to the laws of the country."
He added that as a newspaper group, Nexnews supports freedom of speech and freedom of expression but a threat to hurt someone is criminal intimidation, not freedom of expression.
"Freedom of expression does not extend to inciting people to cause harm to someone else," Ho said. "Indeed, the threat to Gunasegaram was clearly meant to shut him up. Those of us who cherish freedom of expression should be abhorred that a website that claims to be a champion of free speech saw it fit to allow someone to make that threat."
The link to the post, titled "CATCH (Gunasegaram's) 22... ( 2 )" is here and the deleted comment is shown in the screenshot below:
After NST, now theSun is the latest member of 'The Jeff Ooi Hate Club'?
What the hell is going on here? Is this due to the double Lunar 7th Month? 'Ghost' fight 'ghost' har? Sigh!
Wah, like that suddenly Uncle Desi wants to lodge a report for playing around with him (being the cheeky nature of mine) and then tiba-tiba Doc Mave (a soon-to-be lawyer himself) wants to sue for whatever reason. Susah lar liddat!
I think I'll better lay low for now. Peace, bro!