Praeverti Persecutio

Utusan Malaysia front page, 22 March 2013

A landmark case was decided in Kuala Lumpur High Court today. Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris has been determined by the High Court as blogger Papagomo and ordered to pay half a million Ringgit to businessman Abdul Razak Mohd. Nor for defamation in an article the former posted in Papagomo.com (now defunct).

Published: Friday September 13, 2013 MYT 10:01:00 AM
Updated: Friday September 13, 2013 MYT 3:54:00 PM

Blogger Papagomo identified, ordered to pay RM500,000 in defamation suit

BY M. MAGESWARI

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has ruled that Wan Muhammad Azri Wan Deris is blogger Papagomo (pic) and ordered him to pay a businessman RM500,000 in damages in a defamation suit.

Businessman Abdul Razak Mohd Noor had filed a RM10mil defamation suit against Papagomo, claiming that the blogger had implied he was a liar who earned millions of ringgit in the Commonwealth Games.

In his ruling, Judicial Commissioner Vazeer Alam Mydin Meera ordered Papagomo to pay RM200,000 in general damages and RM300,000 in exemplary damages.

He also granted an injunction to stop Papagomo from further defaming Abdul Razak.

JC Vazeer ordered Papagomo to pay the businessman RM50,000 in costs.

In his judgment, JC Vazeer said Papagomo was not remorseful of his actions and this was reflected in his conduct when he testified in the defamation trial.

He said he hoped the award would serve as a lesson to bloggers who uploaded defamatory articles in anonymity.

Wan Muhammad Azri had previously denied that he was the controversial blogger Papagomo.

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Wan Muhammad Azri has been vehemently denying that he is blogger ‘Papagomo’ and he maintained the blog papagomo.com. This has been his line of defense in the third landmark case where judgement was decided against a socio-political blogger.

This would set a precedence, not only to the various suits that Papagomo is facing but also to others who wants to take anonymous bloggers to court or from persecution.

Then again, Razak as a businessman who is in a very competitive industry isn’t someone who is free from controversy. Son of former Minister of Information, Communications and Culture Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim Ph.D, Dino Rais, took Razak, The Malay Mail and NST to court for reporting a dispute between Razak and Dino’s partner, Desmond Looh in court. Dino’s name was also mentioned in the case.

Eventually, on 8 April 2011 the case was awarded in favour of Razak.

Razak said he believed that Papagomo and another blogger explicitly used viral words and description to defame him using their blogs, as part of the outcome to the cases which were taken in the courts and the outcome were unfavourable and probably detrimental to certain parties.

Never the less, this a dangerous precedence to anonymous socio-politico bloggers.

*Updated 0030hrs 14 September 2013

Published in: on September 13, 2013 at 19:00  Comments (11)  

More of Tombstone Air

Stranded Zest Air passengers at Clarks. Pic courtesy of NST

Getting air operations and services suspended has now slowly morphing as being a characteristic if not habitual by AirAsia and all low class carriers under the group. The very latest is Philippines AirAsia.

Philippine Daily Inquirer story:

AirAsia PH suspends some flights

Resources diverted to Zest Airways; firm ‘rationalizes’ routes

By 

3:37 am | Friday, September 13th, 2013

Philippines AirAsia is temporarily suspending several local and international flights as it diverts resources to unit Zest Airways, after a surprise multi-day suspension of Zest in August resulted in the latter taking a “significant” hit, both in terms of finances and reputation, a top official said.

Philippines AirAsia CEO Marianne Hontiveros said in an interview Thursday that the airline, which operates out of Clark International Airport, would suspend its Kalibo and Davao flights effective Oct. 9 and Hong Kong and Taipei by early November. She said the international routes would be resumed in time for the Christmas season.

The plans are part of broader efforts by the company, the domestic unit of Malaysia’s AirAsia Bhd, to “rationalize” its routes, meaning cutting back or halting flights with “low” passenger loads, Hontiveros said.

The decision was made during a board meeting last Tuesday, she said.

But these efforts have been complicated by the financial impact on Zest following the airline’s suspension by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines on the evening of Aug. 16 until Aug 19.

The suspension caused at least P300 million in expenses and foregone revenues during the four-day period, in addition to penalties slapped by authorities in China, a source with knowledge of the matter said previously.

The airline’s reputation also took a hit, as thousands of passengers were stranded and had to be refunded or rebooked. Passenger volume has dipped since the incident, Hontiveros said.

“We’re investors in Zest and we need to concentrate resources here until things stabilize,” Hontiveros said, citing the need to stay “cash positive.” AirAsia Inc. (Philippines), which is a unit of AirAsia Berhad, has a 49 percent stake in Zest.

“The financial losses directly out of the [CAAP] grounding were very substantial,” Hontiveros said.

Zest chair and CEO Alfredo Yao, in a separate interview, said the company continued to receive support from the AirAsia Group but he denied that Zest was in trouble.

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Their excuse is they need to ‘rationalise’ their operations. It is not sure whether they are facing similar air operations mandatory and regulatory issues to Zest Air recently or this is purely about money. If it is about money, then is it inevitable of the demonstration on  attitude of the Tune Air Group of ‘money first!’ policy instead of providing a service to their customer.

This is not the first time they did this. AirAsia X cancelled several destinations such as London Stansted and Paris because they cannot sustain operations from the price of fares they intended or promised to sell.

Air Asia mishap in Kuching, 2011

Air Asia A320  mishap in Kuching, January 2011

Lately, Tony Fernandes’s controlled group of low caste carriers records and dealings are getting into very bad light. ‘Flip-Flopping’ about moving HQ to Jakarta, manipulation of half truths, wrong facts and perpetuating lies about KLIA2, deceptive deal in Batavia Air and AirAsia Japan with All Nippon Airways, temporary AOC for AirAsia for obsolete flight operations manual and non compliance and the more recent, suspension of Zest Air operations.

This is not withstanding about the need for CIMB and Maybank to prop AirAsia X’s shares when it was listed in Bursa Malaysia.

There are clear proof that Tune Air and the Group go about their dealings, in accordance to practices and regulations. Recently, AirAsia India has reached into a controversy where Indian politicians challenged for the clearance given to the low cost carrier to operate in the subcontinent, which is a JV with Indian industrial giant Tata Group.

Times of India story:

Subramaniun Swamy files PIL against clearance for AirAsia

PTI | Sep 9, 2013, 06.52PM IST

NEW DELHI: BJP leader Subramaniun Swamy on Monday moved the Delhi high court challenging the Centre’s clearance given to proposed low-cost airline AirAsia India.

The Supreme Court had on August 16 asked the senior politician, who had earlier approached the apex court, to move the Delhi high court with his plea.

Swamy’s plea, in which he has questioned the action taken by the government under the policy, is likely to be listed for hearing on Wednesday.

He said Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) cleared the proposal but the airline does not exist and FIPB cannot give nod to greenfield projects.

Malaysia’s largest budget-carrier AirAsia has set up a joint venture with the Tata Group and Telestra Tradeplace to launch the regional airline in India.

AirAsia India will be based in Chennai in which the Malaysian carrier will hold a 49 per cent stake. Initially, AirAsia plans to invest USD 30 million in the company.

In his PIL, Swamy has challenged the clearance granted to the proposed airline on the ground that according to the policy, foreign investment is only permitted for an existing airline but AirAsia India was not an existing carrier.

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There should be a comprehensive external audit on all the corporations under the Tune Air Group and all of the dealings, whether from the perspective of commercial, market practices, consumerism, standards of service and civil aviation authorities. This is for the sake of public interest if not the all the stakeholders, shareholders, minority shareholders and consumers.

Probably MPs such as Tony Pua, Nurul Izzah Anwar and Rafizi Ramli could demand for the Auditor General and Public Accounts Committee to do the comprehensive audit on Tune Air and the Group, since Khazanah Holdings Bhd. and EPF invest in AirAsia Bhd.

Airport Spring: The AirAsia to get passengers to revolt against MAHB December 2011

Fernandes also is one of the persons who should be jointly and severally responsible for the MyCC RM10m fine each to Malaysia Airlines and AirAsia exactly a week ago. He is believed to be one the engineers and manipulators for the ‘Malaysia Airlines – Air Asia share swap’ under the falsehood pretext of “collaborating and co-operate to bring Malaysia Airlines to greater heights”. We serious doubted that and eventually proven right.

However, the fanfare and devour of the brontosaurus lasted barely nine months which long enough to inflict damage and now proven to have failed and brought disastrous consequences to the national carrier.

Wheelers and OKU protesting against AirAsia

Wheelers and OKU protesting against AirAsia

This is on top of the mounting complaints of thousands, about the ‘hidden charges’ faced by passengers which if aggregated into fares that are no longer ‘low cost’, especially from the corresponding low quality service they get and misrepresentations and falsehood in advertising.

Consumers should be wary of Tombstone Air. It is clear, the domino tiles have started to fall. It is doubtful that The Star would carry these stories.

Published in: on September 13, 2013 at 05:30  Comments (5)