Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jothy's Fish Head Curry Sues Blogger and Google For Defamation

Just a couple of hours ago, theStar Online posted up an article on their website which then started to be the talk among the bloggers and social media users in Malaysia. Words of dissatisfaction towards the restaurant owner soon fills up Twitter and Facebook.
Google, blogger sued by restaurant for RM6mil

KOTA KINABALU: A popular Indian cuisine restaurant here that is recommended by travel guide Lonely Planet, is suing a blogger and Google for defamation.

Jothy's Fish Head Curry restaurant director Tharumaraj Sivaperumal filed a RM6mil civil suit at the Kota Kinabalu High Court here Monday, naming blogger Poh Huai Bin as first defendant and California-based Google Inc as second defendant.

The suit is arising from some allegedly defamatory statements about Jothy's Fish Head Curry restaurant posted in May last year by Poh, originally from Sibu in Sarawak and now residing in Kuala Lumpur.

Jothy's, represented by counsel Marcel Jude Joseph, is seeking exemplary or punitive damages to deter them from making similar statements in future and an order to restrain Poh from defaming the restaurant on the Internet.

Jothy's is also seeking an order from the court to remove the offending articles from Google and other popular search engines used on the Internet.

The company claimed that the alleged defamatory statements published by both the defendants tended to prejudice against the plaintiff in the conduct of its business and deter others from dealing with it and were injurious to the business.

As a result of the defendants' action, the plaintiff claimed it had suffered loss and damage, and its reputation had been affected both locally and internationally.

The plaintiff claimed that the good reputation of the restaurant, in operation since 1987, was known globally and reported as a well-known destination in Kota Kinabalu and Sabah, in the global television and book series Lonely Planet, referred to as an authority for tourists throughout the world.

The plaintiff also claimed that the posting and articles of the first defendant were available and read by Internet users throughout Sabah and Malaysia, adding that the second defendant conducted business within the jurisdiction of Malaysian courts because its search engine was used regularly by Internet users in the country.
Based on my knowledge, the blogger, SixthSeal has left a statement on his blog claiming that he had the worst fish head curry.

"The Worst Fish Head Curry and Banana Leaf Restaurant in the Known Universe."

"Avoid like a bad case of herpes."

He had posted this blog post sometime during May last year. However, his blog is currently down at the moment, which is why you will not be able to browse for the post.

Does giving bad remarks on food you've eaten serves to be a defamatory statement? Well, the basic knowledge of law tells us YES it does. There are a lot of other people out there giving bad opinions on food either libel or slanderous. How are you going to 'catch' these people instead? Seems to me that a blogger's freedom of opinion is getting lesser by the day. Food bloggers watch out! You might be next!

However, if you are standing on the plaintiff's side which in this case would be Jothy's Fish Head Curry restaurant director Tharumaraj Sivaperumal, the facts might be helping him out a little. The alleged statement is defamatory unless proven otherwise. For a statement to be not defamatory, SixthSeal needs to prove that he is only giving his fair comment. How is this going to play out?

But what I do not understand is this. Is everyone now sueing for money instead? Nobody likes to sue if they are not paid damages, isn't that right?

"Jothy's Fish Head Curry restaurant director Tharumaraj Sivaperumal filed a RM6mil civil suit.."

RM6mil that's alot! That's like a lot of fish head curry! Why sue Google? Is it because Google has the cash and not the blogger?

Right now, I do feel like tasting their fish head curry. It's been awhile since I've eaten fish head curry. After that, maybe I'll give my own opinion on it...or maybe not?

Now in my defence, everything I said here are based on my own personal opinion and are not meant to defame any person/company/ or equivalent. It's so scary these's not safe anymore.

Just so you know, Google has taken down traces which leads to this particular case. So it will be hard to find any source of pictures or text. If anyone of you has a source, do let me know down below in the comments section.

By the way, such great publicity both of them are getting don't ya think?

Updated 7.51pm: Managed to get a screenshot of the blogpost from Click for better view.
jothy's fish head curry


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