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Malaysian Man Forced To Issue 100 Twitter Apologies To Media Company He Defamed

By / 06.02.11

It’s no secret that predominantly Islamic countries have odd, sometimes medieval ways of dishing out justice, so I found it curious that Malaysia — a country where Islam is recognized as the official state religion — is maintaining the odd, while getting a little for forward-thinking in their punishments. Heck, in some Islamic regimes, you risk getting your tongue cut off of you slander or defame someone, especially someone prominent or well-connected, but Malaysia is apparently experimenting with social media shaming as an alternative to appendage-hacking.

To wit: A social activist named Fahmi Fadzil recently claimed online that a pregnant friend of his working for a magazine publisher was being treated poorly at work. The publisher sued him for defamation, and he was ordered to issue 100 apologies to the company on his Twitter page as part of a settlement.

Reports the AP:

Fahmi Fadzil, an opposition politician’s aide and respected commentator on social issues, claimed on Twitter in January that his pregnant friend had been poorly treated by her employers at a magazine run by BluInc Media.

Fahmi wrote an apology to BluInc on Twitter a few hours after making that allegation, but the company’s lawyers later sent him a letter demanding unspecified financial damages for defamation and another apology in major newspapers, said Fahmi’s lawyer, Syahredzan Johan.

Syahredzan said Fahmi settled the case this week by agreeing to apologize 100 times over three days on Twitter, where he has more than 4,200 followers. Syahredzan declined to say who suggested the terms.

Over the past year, Malaysian authorities have arrested or charged several people who made statements on Facebook that allegedly insulted the country’s royalty or stirred religious tensions. A government minister has also filed a defamation suit against a blogger who accused him of raping an Indonesian housemaid.

I suppose it’s a good thing I wasn’t blogging from Malaysia on any of the occasions I called Donald Trump a “human horsesh*t dispenser” and a “mysteriously coiffed gasbag.” Tweeting apologies is the new writing lines on a chalkboard.

(Pic via Blagg)


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