Jothy’s Fish Head Curry sues Blogger SixthSeal & Google for Defamation

Just saw this on twitter:

Google, blogger sued by fish head curry restaurant operator in KK

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

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.

Source : TheStar Online

So apparently Huai Bin @ Sixthseal wrote about how he didn’t like the food in Jothy’s in his blogpost (way back in May 2010 mind you) even though it is recommended in Lonely Planet. In his words he called it “The Worst Fish Head Curry and Banana Leaf Restaurant in the Known Universe” and “a tourist trap. Avoid it like a bad case of herpes.”

His post – http://www.sixthseal.com/2010/05/jothys-fish-head-curry-banana-leaf-restaurant.html – is currently down (and/or a bit slow). You can get his post in Google cache here – http://bit.ly/gWJKeW

If that is a bit slow, I also have a screenshot of the post with images below. Click for a bigger pic (thx april!)

Jothy's Fish Head Curry Banana Leaf Restaurant on Sixthseal.com

Edit : Just realized the screenshot wasn’t complete. Fixed.

Update to this issue : Google to retain ‘offensive’ contents on fish head curry outlet

Disclaimer to save my ass : All the contents of above post are content reproduced from relevant sources. All comments below are owned by the commentators themselves and do not reflect the opinions of this blog’s author.

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16 Comments

  1. thats a bad review. everyone has the freedom of speech on the webbernet but i still believe in ethical blogging. shudn’t use herpes to describe a restaurant. the first thing came to my mind was prostitute.

    Reply
  2. Makes me wonder, if we should always watch our words when doing food reviews (even though food wasn’t nice or service is bad). Anyway, nice ending to the post: the disclaimer part. haha :D

    Reply
  3. Listen guys – bottom line is nobody reads Google reviews when choosing indian restaurant in Malaysia. Not even foreigners. After all how many foreigners do you see in Indian restaurants in Malaysia. Is their patronage enough to sustain Curry Fish Head business? NO.

    Curry fish Head food is probably bad and that’s why they have no customers.
    Business is bad and so the owner is probably looking for a quick fix to cover his losses.
    So he thinks Google will settle. What he does not realize is Google will not settle.
    Because if Google did – the rest of the world will be sueing Google’s ass off.

    The only thing Curry Fish Head managed to do here is getting bad press to ist business.
    They just have should have tried to work harder on their PR and Food.

    Reply
  4. Well, the restaurant owner will face a hard time proving his case.
    1. The blogger is just merely expressing his subjective opinion after eating at the restaurant (At least he ate in the restaurant, so he has his right to his opinion as long it is a bona fide one).
    2. Can the restaurant owner prove that the opinion is mala fide?
    3. Can the restaurant prove that he suffers damage directly from that blog posting review?

    Reply
  5. What the publisher published is called FREEDOM OF SPEECH and an honest comment for the judgement of the public.

    I am very much against the abuse of the defamation law to conceal the truth. Therefore I have just set up a weblog http://malaysiadefamation.blogspot.com/ to create awareness, highlight those defamation cases in Malaysia which should never be dragged to court, moreover to ensure that business and trading organisation should not have the right to sue for defamation, moreover claim for damages, especially food related organisations. My blog is still new, but hopefully within time it will make changes.

    I believe customers have the right to openly critic and organisations have the right to challenge, dispute or explain to their customers but not to the lengthen of suing them.

    I believe Malaysians are not foolish to judge what is false or true. The only way to fight against organisation defamation is to remind them about consumers’ rights and to show them that they have forgotten that their customers is the boss and has the power, not the courts.

    To the blogger of this blog. Just a friendly reminder that regardless of whatever disclaimer you have published, you could also be dragged to court for republishing (or link) the alleged defamatory words. I suppose STAR newspaper can also be considered republishing when they repeated the same alleged defamatory words.

    Reply
  6. To Bing’s comments.

    I think you got it wrong. The restaurant owner doesn’t have to prove anything after he has proven that the word was published to others, it is defamatory and related to him or his business reputation, since this is a defamation (libel) action unless it is malicious falsehood. All the burden of proof is on the defendant and that’s why defamation sucks.

    Reply
  7. Certain restaurant in Sabah use of left over food to the next day with out wasting…. That’s maybe the reason for Sixthseal to say the curry fish head was tough overcooked and dry due to reheat the food over and over again.

    Reply
  8. See at the restaurant, can see it what is happening before the blogger wrote the comment. I myself wrote a bad comment on food when in Langkawi (Recommended Reataurant). Only one table occupied when I reach there. Paid RM135 for crab, fried sotong & claypot tafu for 2 adult & 2 children. Learn my lesson. Don’t patron a restaurant if not many customer inside.

    This is just merely our comment when we’re not satified for what we paid for it.
    If the reataurant owner win the case, I think everyone can become really rich. Just open a restaurant, spend some money for publicity including getting tourism company to involve bring tourist to the place. Prepare the most worst food.. you know what happen next.

    Reply

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