DAP MP for Jelutong Jeff Ooi was nailed this morning. The Pendang born technopreneur/SOPO blogger-turned-politician was instructed to pay RM 150,000.00 for defamatory words utters on former Penang Municipal Councillor Mohd. Razali Abdullah.
The Star report:
Published: Monday May 23, 2011 MYT 12:40:00 PM
Updated: Monday May 23, 2011 MYT 12:46:29 PM
Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi guilty of defamation, ordered to pay RM150,000
By CHRISTINA CHIN
GEORGE TOWN: A High Court here Monday ordered Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi to pay RM150,000 in damages to a former PKR Penang municipal councillor for defamation, including implications that he was a “mad man”.
Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera also ordered Ooi to pay RM20,000 in costs and interests of 8% to be calculated from the date of judgment until the date of payment.
In his suit, Mohd Razali Abdullah, 49, claimed that Ooi had slandered him repeatedly and caused defamatory statements to be published by newspapers, websites and news portals in 2009 when he was a municipal councillor, and some of the defamatory words were repeated in newspapers in January 2010.
He said the slander, among others, meant that he was a religious extremist, was incapable of acting professionally and carrying out his duties as a councillor despite his qualification as a land surveyor, and had mental problems, with the innuendo that he was a mad man.
Mohd Razali is seeking a permanent injunction to stop Ooi from repeating and publishing the defamatory statements, an apology in the newspapers, general damages for libel and slander at RM10mil, and other damages.
In his defence, Ooi said he genuinely felt that his reference to Mohd Razali as a “religious extremist” was reasonable and justified.’
Ooi, represented by Jagdeep Singh Deo, denied calling Mohd Razali a mad man.
It is obvious that Jeff Ooi wasn’t telling the truth about having the basis of calling Razali as “religious extremist” and “Mad man”. Penang High Court found out otherwise. And with cost to former blogger Jeff Ooi. Razali filed the case on 1 February 2010 as a reaction of Ooi’s refusal to openly apologize. Ooi’s description of Razali actually came with a lot of flak from several NGOs.
RABU, 05 OGOS 2009 16:55 TM LIM
KUALA LUMPUR, 5 Ogos – Presiden Pertubuhan Jamaah Malaysia (JIM), Hj Zaid Kamaruddin menafikan tuduhan Ahli Parlimen Jelutong, YB Ooi Chuan Aun yang menggelarkan JIM sebuah pertubuhan pelampau. Ooi bermaksud demikian ekoran desakannya supaya seorang ahli jawatankuasa Pusat Khidmat Sehenti (OSC) di bawah Dewan Bandaraya Pulau Pinang, Mohd Razali Abdullah diberhentikan daripada menganggotai jawatankuasa berkenaan. Mohd Razali, menurut Ooi merupakan ‘ekstremis agama’ kerana beliau merupakan ahli JIM, dan JIM pula meletakkan visinya untuk membangun sebuah negara yang melaksanakan syariat Islam sepenuhnya menjelang tahun 2020.
Bagaimanapun, Zaid menegaskan bahawa mengamalkan syariat Islam dalam kehidupan merupakan aspirasi setiap umat Islam, bukan sahaja di Malaysia tetapi juga di seluruh dunia. Bahkan beliau percaya rahmat kebaikan Islam di Malaysia nanti akan turut dinikmati oleh seluruh rakyat. JIM yakin pegangan Islam Mohd Razali dan pengalaman profesionalnya akan menjadikan beliau lebih berkemampuan dalam menjalankan tanggungjawabnya, demikian menurut Zaid dalam satu kenyataan akhbarnya di sini.
Sebuah akhbar harian berbahasa Inggeris melaporkan Ooi (kiri) sebagai berkata, perlantikan Mohd Razali boleh dianggap sebagai ‘mengundang bahaya’ (dangerous precedent) disebabkan visi yang juga merupakan impian JIM itu.
Mengulas kenyataan tersebut, Zaid berasa hairan bagaimana perlantikan seorang Muslim yang baik boleh mengundang bahaya. Agama Islam telah berdiri teguh sejak sekian lama. Jadi, sebarang kekeliruan dan sikap prejudis orang ramai terhadap Islam yang timbul akhir-akhir ini tidak akan mengubah kesucian dan kerelevanan agama ini dalam masyarakat.
Sebagai sebuah pertubuhan bukan kerajaan (NGO) yang bertanggungjawab, JIM berpegang kepada prinsip keamanan, kedaulatan undang-undang dan keadilan untuk semua. JIM juga katanya akan terus berkempen agar hak dan maruah rakyat dipertahankan, kerajaan lebih telus dalam pentadbirannya dan pemerkasaan individu dan komuniti dapat direalisasikan melalui penglibatan rakyat dalam proses demokrasi.
For the record, Razali was a councillor appointed by PKR. PKR is a ‘partner’ of Pakatan Rakyat unholy-marriage-of-(in)convenience-between-strange-bedfellows. Now, it seems that they are even willing to backstab their own partner indiscriminately.
So now that it is known that Ooi is not that truthful, the question now lies on the case of the purported event which was said to involve him and DAP Jelutong where certain vows were said to be made. If true, it could be seen as most likely ‘seditious words’ were uttered. The Chief of Staff at Chief Minister denied the all these, although Utusan Malaysia reported a different initial reaction from him on Friday 6 May 2011. Even after Mohd. Razali Abd Rahman made a Police report on 13 May 2011, “Confirming what Utusan Malaysia published on 7 May 2011 was true”, Ooi still denied that the vow did happen with all sort of excuses.
The Star reported Ooi’s reaction upon the shocking revelation the day before after Razali Abdul Rahman made a Police report at Pattani Road Police Station:
Published: Saturday May 14, 2011 MYT 4:30:00 PM
DAP’s Jeff Ooi wants Mohamed Razali to reveal contents of police report
By CHRISTINA TAN
KUALA LUMPUR: DAP member Mohamed Razali Abdul Rahman should reveal the contents of his Friday police report about the controversial meeting with Christian leaders, said Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi on Saturday.
Ooi said he was taken aback by Mohamed Razali’s Friday report as the branch committee member had actually accompanied him to lodge a police report on May 8 against the Utusan Malaysia’s front page report, headlined Kristian Agama Rasmi?
“This is sudden. I really don’t know what happened,” he said, adding that he had been trying to contact Mohamed Razali.
“Local media reported him yesterday as saying that he knew what really happened during the May 5 meeting. It is short on details. He is hiding behind the police report.
“We are challenging Mohamed Razali to repeat what he has stated in the police report so that our legal adviser can take a look into it and for us to seek legal redress,” he told reporters at the party headquarters here on Saturday.
On Friday, TV3 reported that Mohamed Razali lodged a police report at the Patani Road station, claiming that he had attended the May 5 meeting with Christian leaders and that he was disappointed that they were denying matters discussed at the meeting.
Ooi claimed that Mohamed Razali had a relative who was a policeman and speculated that the relative could have persuaded Mohamed Razali into lodging the police report on Friday that appeared to run counter to the May 8 report Ooi had lodged.
“I hope the police start looking into that angle and make a fair and just investigation into the case,” he said, adding that no action would be taken by the party against Mohamed Razali until the matter was clarified.
Ooi also said eight pastors had been called by the police to have their statements recorded over the meeting.
This is what pro-Opposition news portal Free Malaysia Today reported on the same story:
Teoh El Sen| May 14, 2011
Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi has challenged former Umno member Razali Abdul Rahman to reveal the content of his police report over the alleged attempt to place a Christian prime minister in Putrajaya.
KUALA LUMPUR: A previously loyal DAP member who lodged a new report on the alleged ‘Christian plot’ to takeover Putrajaya was coerced into doing so, according to Jelutong MP Jeff Ooi.
Falling short of calling it an “Umno plot”, Ooi, who is also DAP national central executive committee member, said 42-year-old Mohamed Razali Abdul Rahman was treated like a “brother”.
“We don’t know what is his intent to file the report five days after we lodged a report denying that there was a Christian conspiracy.
“In fact, he was the one who personally asked me to make the report and accompanied me on May 8 to the police station,” said Ooi, adding that he was saddened by the new development.
Ooi, who called for a press conference at the DAP headquarters here, showed reporters a newspaper cutting from Chinese daily, GuangMing, showing a photo of Ooi and Razali in front of the police station.
In the photograph Razali was seen making a thumbs down sign showing disapproval of Utusan’s report.
“When I saw the man (Razali) on TV yesterday, he looked very worried. I sympathise with him,” said Ooi, who was alongside other top DAP leaders including Tony Pua, Teresa Kok, Gobind Singh Deo, and Lim Lip Eng.
Ooi said that he received an intelligence report that Razali had a relative who was a Special Branch police officer.
Ooi alleged that the officer was instrumental in leaking the story to Utusan.
“We were informed that Razali has a relative who is a lance corporal from Jalan Petani police station in charge of taking care of political matters in Jelutong,” he said.
Ooi however declined to reveal the identity of the officer.
“It was this particular police officer who was instrumental in getting Utusan the story, I hope the police would look into this angle,” said Ooi.
Ooi today challenged Razali to come out and reveal the contents of his police report so that legal action, if any, could be taken by the party.
“He is hiding behind the police report. We would be glad if he could repeat his report openly.
“If what he says threatens DAP’s reputation and the Christian community then we can seek legal redress,” he said.
Further describing Razali’s background, Ooi said Razali was once an Umno member but came to him in 2008 asking to join DAP after quitting his former party.
“He told me Umno was suppressing him to a point that his car was splashed with paint on one occasion,” said Ooi, adding that he also helped Razali find an employer when he was in financial difficulty.
Ooi also said that at this juncture, Razali would be pitting himself against the eye witnesses numbering some 50 others.
“It is his words against the rest of these 50,” he said.
Ooi said eight pastors and four DAP members who attended the function, including himself, have given their statements to the police.
“The police questions were ridiculous. They were asking the pastors if they raised their right or left hand, but they simply replied ‘any’. They also asked how high were the hands raised,” said Ooi,.
Ooi said the people who had made the exposé were so ignorant that they did not know that Christians pray with their hands raised and may have misunderstood it as an oath.
Ooi also condemned Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussein, saying the letter of reprimand was merely a slap on the wrist when Utusan was flaming ‘dangerous fires’.
“It is clearly an agenda to destroy DAP. Hishammuddin wanted to get even because he handled the Al-Kitab issue very badly.” he said.
Ooi said he had not been able to contact Razali.
When asked how the allegations surfaced if it did not happen, Ooi said:”If there really was a conspiracy, they wouldn’t have invited Razali, right?
“That’s common sense. Had I the power to summon Christian groups to lead such an agenda against Muslims. I would resurrect Altantuya (Shaaribuu) to testify. I’m just saying it’s totally absurd.”
Ooi said the conference was called “Unashamedly Ethical Conference” which was focused on ways Christians can contribute to fighting corruption and bribery.
On an allegation which surfaced on pro-Umno blogs that Ooi himself leaked the story, Ooi replied: “I wouldn’t trust the blogs. I have been a world class blogger, compared to this.”:
Meanwhile Pua who is DAP publicity chief said Hishamuddin’s comment that based on Razali’s report there was some bais to Utusan’s report was a ‘very serious claim.’
“Such insinuations could result in confusion and disharmony in the country.”
Last Saturday, Utusan Malaysia carried a front-page article headlined “Kristian agama rasmi?” (Christianity the official religion?).
The article alleged that a group of pastors had participated in a gathering in Penang recently, together with DAP elected representatives including Ooi.
The gathering allegedly discussed a plot to turn Malaysia into a Christian country and install a Christian prime minister.
The report, based entirely on unsubstantiated blog postings by two pro-Umno bloggers, charged DAP with sedition for allegedly trying to change the country’s laws to allow for a Christian prime minister.
Several police reports have been made urging the authorities to investigate Utusan Malaysia and the blogger for criminal acts.
On Thursday, the Home Ministry issued a letter of reprimand to Utusan Malaysia over the article.
But the very next day its minister Hishamuddin said there was “some basis” to the Utusan report.
Hishammuddin said this based on ‘new evidence” provided in the police report lodged By Razali yesterday morning.
Razali, who described himself as a responsible Muslim, was quoted in Utusan as saying that he knew the “true story” behind what happened at the function, in a hotel in Macalister Road, where the alleged conspiracy was hatched.
“I am here to explain what really happened (during the function) because I was present. I made the police report because I am very disappointed with the reports which have been made by those who don’t know what really happened,” he reportedly said.
Now that Penang High Court have proven that Ooi is not that truthful about having basis to slander, how reliable is his version of this ‘MacAlister Road hotel event’ on 5 May 2011?
Excerpts of Ooi’s reaction when Utusan Malaysia contacted him on 6 May 2011:
Jeff yang ditanya mengenai ikrar itu mendakwa, ketika majlis berlangsung, beliau sibuk ‘melayan’ iPad selain menjamu selera walaupun turut bertafakur semasa paderi-paderi itu berdoa.
“Bukankah berdoa itu suruhan tuhan. Apa yang saya tahu, ‘bigdog’ (penulis blog) tidak sebut nama saya, dia tidak tuduh saya. Kalau mahu tahu lebih lanjut, sila tanya polis Cawangan Khas dan dengar rakaman yang dibuat mereka,” katanya melalui khidmat pesanan ringkas (SMS) kepada Utusan Malaysia di sini hari ini.
Two days later, he lodged a Police report against Utusan Malaysia and this blogger:
By Lee Keng Fatt and Elvina Fernandez
email@example.comOoi said he gave his statement at 10.30am and also lodged two reports — against Utusan Malaysia and the owner of the blog bigdogdot.com.wordpress.com for unwarranted and unsupported claims on the issue.
GEORGE TOWN: Police yesterday recorded a statement from Jelutong member of parliament Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun over his alleged involvement with a group purportedly trying to make Christianity the country’s official religion.
The Jelutong DAP denied that he had hosted the dinner in a hotel here on Thursday evening and clarified that there was no pledge among those who attended the dinner to have a Christian as the country’s prime minister.
Ooi also demanded that Utusan Malaysia and the blogger offer sincere apologies to all, including the Christian community, within 24 hours
The investigation is still ongoing. Just like the case brought upon by Razali Abdullah, this most recent case of Razali Abdul Rahman is something worthwhile to pay attention to.