Friday, January 28, 2011

Google and blogger sued by curry fish head restaurant

This is another defamation case regarding a food critic blogger who was sued by a restaurant because he published some words in his blog which the restaurant owner claimed had damaged and tarnished his business reputation. You can read the full story which was published by STAR here.

The owner of the restaurant Mr. Tharumaraj Sivaperumal alleged that his fish head curry restaurant (which he claimed to be very popular among his customers) had suffered extreme financial losses because of the alleged defamatory article and the restaurant is now seeking 6 million ringgit for damages and an interim injunction.

The objective of defamation laws is to balance protection of individual or business reputation with freedom of expression. In practice, defamation laws are frequently used as a means of chilling speech. A threat of costly defamation proceedings and damages, whether or not a plaintiff's claim is likely to be upheld by a court, is often used to silence criticism.

I think the publisher should consult an excellent lawyer who is an expert in defamation law and cases to defend him and believe me, it will cost him a bundle. It will also take a very long time to see the end of a defamation suit, if it eventually goes to trial. Frankly, if you do not have the extra cash or means, forget about legal aid because legal aid is not provided for defamation cases.

Sometime in defamation cases it is best for the defendant to represent himself in person. There are some advantage for doing so only if you got nothing to lose and you are a determined and diligent person to go all out to fight for your rights. If people in Malaysia has the determination and courage like Helen Steel and David Morris in the McDonald's Restaurants v Morris & Steel case, most organisations in Malaysia will think twice to raise a defamation suit. Even though Helen Steel and David Morris lost the case but they won with the support of the people in Europe and they made history.  

I believe organisations (especially those who produce and sell food) should not have the right to maintain an action for damages for defamation like individuals. As a consumer and you believe in consumer rights and the power of people let’s create a better Malaysia.

I will try to raise another topic on this matter and write more on other similar cases.


  1. Hello Steven, great information you are providing here. I can see your blog being a resource people will come to for reference and insight in time to come. Keep up the good work. Am following your blog.

    Thank you for stopping by my blog. Best wishes.

  2. lets wait and see. at the end who win. then malaysia gonna be like US. always want sue everything even small matter~