By Big Dog
Eminent litigation lawyer Dato’ Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who was specifically mentioned by Raja Petra’s Malaysia Today articles under No Holds Barred section recently, decided to take him and the political news portal to court. However, the distant relative to the Selangor Royal family refused and totally ignored the attempt to serve him the summon earlier in week.
This is not the first time Raja Petra Kamaruddin was sued in court for his writings. Earlier this year, UUM Vice Chancellor Tan Sri Dr. Nordin Kardi obtained a default judgment suit for a RM 7 million sum as the former Free Anwar Campaign lead media person refused any attempt to defend himself nor appear in court. Recently when he appeared in court for the sedition and criminal defamation charges, Raja Petra refused to enter plea.
Today, Dato’ Shafee issued a media statement with regards to his action and challenged Raja Petra, whom the former called the latter “A common pariah”, in court or any tribunal of both mutual choice :
Press Release (17 August 2008 )
1. On the 6th, 7th, and 12th August 2008, Raja Petra published the 3 defamatory articles on me with other commenters publishing their comments following the 3 defamatory articles. All of the commenters are equally guilty of defamation and various offences of vulgarities under the Penal Code.
2. The Raja Petra website is a controlled website, meaning it is a moderated website. He chooses through that system to publish or not any article or comment posted on the blog site. He is therefore a publisher of all the articles and comments posted on his blog site and is therefore guilty of publishing, accommodating and adopting the contents as his. He has committed the offences of defamation, sedition and other offences in the Penal Code and the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.
3. Raja Petra does not practice an open blog site. He only publishes materials that support him. All other materials that are critical of him or condemn him are not published. He is not interested in an open debate for alternative views. His claim that his website is a source of independent news is total nonsense. Clearly this blogger is a coward and one that hides behind his blog ( and as you can see in court last Friday, one that hides behind his wife as well) Any so called “Royalty” (as Raja Petra claims himself to be) who indulges in publishing vulgar statements over and above being defamatory ought to be ashamed of himself as his behaviour evidenced in the blog site is that of a common “pariah”.
4. I am lodging a police report today for offences committed by Raja Petra which are as follows:
(a) Criminal Defamation;
(b) Sedition under the Sedition Act 1948;
(c) Offences under the Penal Code for vulgarities;
(d) Offences under the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998; and
(e) Printing Presses and Publication Act 1984
5. The Order of the High Court has been officially served on him on the 15th of August 2008. But before this Raja Petra was aware of the contents of the Order dated 13th August 2008 as admitted by him in his article on the 14th itself. Under the law he should have obeyed the Order of Court counting from the 14th itself. I am monitoring closely if Raja Petra is complying with each and every order that the court has imposed against him. If he does not observe any of these orders, I will compel him to be produced in court for contempt of court. I will continue to do this for every contemptious act he commits and if the contempt continues I will make repeated applications for contempt against him. If the court of Appeal could find it sufficient to send Murray Hiebert, a bona fide journalist to jail in Malaysia, the crimes committed by Raja Petra would be far worse. Raja Petra is not a bona fide journalist or an independent news provider. He is truly a puppet of some political animal. Raja Petra’s website is a political propaganda website and Raja Petra is the chief puppet.
6. This year alone 2 successful defamation suits have been taken against Raja Petra. The cases are :
(a) Universiti Utara Malaysia & Vice Chancellor Tan Sri Dr Nordin Kardin v Raja Petra , where a defamation suit was taken against Raja Petra. Raja Petra never entered appearance nor defended the case. On 26th March 2008, Raja Petra was ordered to pay RM 4 Million as damages to the Plaintiffs. He has failed to pay the RM 4 million. Raja Petra is a bankrupt and has been declared a bankrupt for quite sometime. As you know, an honourable bankrupt must defend his reputation about his credibility. Raja Petra never defended his credibility. He is not just a common bankrupt. He is also bankrupt of credibility and ideas.
(b) The case of Dato Seri Azim Zabidi v Raja Petra, a Kuala Lumpur High Court suit. Again judgment in default of appearance has been taken against him. The Plaintiff in that case has applied for damages to be assessed by the court. And the damages sum would soon be announced by the Court. Tell me why isn’t Raja Petra defending these suits ? I suggest there is only one reason : he has no defence and he knows his stories are all propaganda and has no nexus to truth.
The above precedent cases show that:
(a) Raja Petra is a coward in not defending the defamation suits against him.
(b) If he claims he can justify the contents of all his writings, the public deserves to know the truth and he should not behave like a coward and not come to court and prove his case.
(c) I challenge him to consent to our case being expedited for trial so that the public will know the truth whether Raja Petra is a liar or not. The court is the best forum to adjudicate on the conflict. In fact, alternatively, if Raja Petra wants an independent arbitration on this matter, with independent arbitrators chosen by a joint consent between him and me, I will gladly accept it and challenge him to produce the proofs of his allegations.
7 We are concerned that Raja Petra thinks that being a bankrupt he does not have any obligations to law and society. This is perhaps the reason why he is so dishonest and reckless as to what he publishes. If he thinks he can hide behind his bankruptcy, he is dead wrong. So far the conduct of Raja Petra clearly shows that his sole motive is to do propaganda and truth was never his consideration at all.
8. For your information, I can conclusively show Raja Petra is a total liar I have independent evidence, both oral and documentary, that will show neither the office of Shafee & Co nor this conference room you are sitting in or the whiteboard you are looking at or I personally are involved in anything close to the allegation by Raja Petra that we are involved in a conspiracy relating to the case of the sodomy allegation by Saiful against Anwar Ibrahim. Raja Petra will have to show his so called evidence. He bluffs by saying he has got 6 witnesses 3 of them are datuks apparently.And I urge him that if he has that evidence, he must quickly agree for an expedited trial of this matter as the public deserves nothing less than the truth. If Raja Petra is found to be lying to the public he must be stopped fast so that the public is not misled.
9. For your information, I have been away in Kuching and Terengganu for more than 6 weeks prior to Anwar Ibrahim being charged, I was away from the 28 June 2008 until 7th August 2008 continuously with one week in Kuala Terengganu (all of them related to my work in relation to 3 Election Petitions).How could I be in this room to mastermind the operation with the police.
10. Why should the police want to do a black operation in this room? Don’t you think a black operation by its nature is secretive ? Should such an operation be done in this open conference room ? That is the reason I say even a person with a pea-sized brain would not believe his story. Raja Petra is not a clever bluffer. I would love to cross-examine him in court and I would offer myself to be cross-examined by his team of lawyers if this is the only way truth can be revealed.
11. I will tell him to stop being the coward he is. Come out into the open, in the open court and fight me like a man and not to hide behind his web site or behind the skirt of his wife.
Dato’ Muhammad Shafee Abdullah
Also read The Malaysian Insider for their report