Clearly DAP leaders are never into the freedom of press and media, nor expression. They are the least democratic lot within Malaysian political system. They take writers and newspapers to court whenever they can. Even if the piece is a fictional story. That is their defense mechanism.
Utusan Malaysia has been the constant legal process target of DAP leaders. In the case of DAP MP for Seputeh Teresa Kok Vs Utusan Malaysia and Dato’ Chamil Wariya for the fictional short story “Politik Baru YBJ” which was published in Mingguan Malaysia on 12 October 2008, it was decided that it would be settled out of court.
Published: Monday October 8, 2012 MYT 2:34:00 PM
Updated: Monday October 8, 2012 MYT 2:48:42 PM
Kok vs Utusan suit settled with apology, costs
By MAIZATUL NAZLINA
KUALA LUMPUR: Utusan Malaysia columnist Datuk Chamil Wariya andUtusan Melayu Sdn Bhd have openly apologised to Seputeh MP Teresa Kok in a High Court here, as part of a settlement in a defamation suit filed by Kok against them.
The apology was read Monday by their respective lawyers before High Court judge Justice Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer.
He also ordered Utusan Melayu to pays costs of RM50,000 and to publish an apology in the daily.
Kok had filed a RM30mil defamation suit against Utusan Melayu Sdn Bhd, which publishes Utusan Malaysia, and Chamil on Dec 12, 2008.
The suit was over a short story written by Chamil, who is also Malaysian Press Institute CEO, which allegedly referred, either directly or by innuendo, to Kok.
The story titled YB Josephine was published in Utusan Malaysia on Oct 12, 2008.
Lawyer Sankara Nair acted for Kok while TKB Mohana Kumar for the Utusan group while counsel Zalil Mohd Mess for Chamil.
In her suit, Kok claimed Chamil’s article contained defamatory contents that either directly or by implication or by imputation referred to her.
Kok contended, among others, the article implied she was a racist, an untrustworthy person and a bad politician.
Kok, also a Selangor state executive councillor, said it lowered her esteem in the eyes of the public and exposed her to public scandal, ridicule, odium and contempt.
Among others, she sought compensatory damages of RM30mil from the defendants.
She also applied for an injunction to restrain the defendants from further uttering, speaking or publishing the impugned article or similar words concerning her.
This apology came without controversy. Chamil’s apology to Teresa is not with a huge expense against Utusan Malaysia, where he worked once as an editor.
In his apology to Teresa, Chamil stated “Saya amat kesal bahawa hasil daripada sikap yang tidak bertanggung jawab dan beretika serta mala fide yang dilakukan Pengarang Mingguan Malaysia telah melaga lagakan saya dengan YB Teresa Kok dan akibatnya saya dan YB Teresa menjadi mangsa kejadian ini“.
The fact is that, it was Chamil who send his fictional story to Utusan Malaysia. He used the name “YB Teresa Kok, MP for Seputeh” in this short story. The editor-in-charge felt that the short story was worthy to be published, provided that they did not directly implicate the person named in the short story and offend the real YB Teresa Kok as a direct attacks against her. So, the editor-in-charge changed it to a fictional character “YB Su Lan, MP for Sepohon Beringin”.
Imagine what would Teresa have done had Utusan Malaysia published Chamil’s fictional short story in its original form and clearly stating Teresa’s name and constituency? DAP would definitely have cried ‘mainstream media attacking their leaders’, take the matter to town, would have probably gone to Parliament and demanded that the Home Minister then, to immediately withdraw Utusan Malaysia’s license.
For the record, in 2008 the Prime Minister was PM ‘Flip-Flop’ Dato’ Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Home Minister then was Dato’ Seri Syed Hamid Al-Bar. In September 2008, Syed Hamid as the Home Minister signed the ISA detention orders for Malaysia Today editor Raja Petra Kamaruddin, a Sin Chew Jit Poh journo Tan Hoon Cheng and Teresa Kok.
Chamil is now CEO of Malaysian Press Institute.
Background of MPI:
Malaysian Press Institute or popularly known as MPI, was instituted as a foundation on 13th of April 2007 under the Malaysia’s Company Act of 1965. Prior to that it was known as Institut Akhbar Malaysia (IAM), a non governmental organisation, registered under the National Society’s Act. IAM was established in 1968 by the Malaysian media with the support of the government via the Ministry of Information, mainly to provide basic training in journalism for Malaysian media practitioners as, unlike today, there was no journalism, media or communication school in the country then. It was then known as South East Asia Centre.
Clearly, Chamil should resign from the MPI.
What ever Chamil was tasked or intended to do as the CEO of MPI, would be meaningless as he has clearly backstabbed his former employer and colleagues with his apology letter to Teresa dated today. He should have defended his own short story, because the changes made were not about impairing the content and substance of the fictional short story.
How would the entire presss community look at Chamil now, saving his own behind by back stabbing Utusan Malaysia in the process. Now that Chamil could be seen as ‘an unprincipled’ and a tool to demonise a mainstream media, how could he still be in the ranks of journos, let alone lead an organization that is supposed to train new journos.
*Updated 0030hrs 9 Oct 2012
Please also read someone’s thoughts about being betrayed and pro-Opposition plagiarism