Thursday, May 17, 2007

At the NSTP AGM 2007

Now I know for certain that the NSTP is paying the legal fees of its deputy chairman Kalimullah Hassan, group editor-in-chief Hishamudin Aun, CEO Syed Faisal Albar and former group editor Brendan Pereira, in the defamation suit against two bloggers as well as Kalimullah's suit against lawyer Matthias Chang .
This matter surfaced at the NSTP annual general meeting held at the company's Jalan Riong premises this morning.
As a minority shareholder, I attended. It was my very first time.

Syed Faisal, replying to a question by shareholder A Kadir Jasin who was former NSTP GEIC, said that the company was footing the bill for the four plaintiffs (including Brendan who is no longer in its employment) because "they are all associated with the NSTP".
And he said to date RM70,000 has been paid to their lawyers.
(Syed Faisal is the fourth plaintiff in the case NSTP and 4 others vs Ahirudin Attan.)
The other blogger being sued by NSTP and 3 others is Jeff Ooi.

I have been made to understand that a defamation suit is a "private action". The suit dies with the plaintiff. Which means it is between one individual and another, and has nothing to do with a third party.
Of course, I am not a lawyer.
Regardless (of what a defamation suit is), I'd like to ask: should the NSTP be paying the legal fees of the four individuals?
I think not.
They should be paying from their own pocket. Shouldn't they?

For more on the AGM, ready Rocky's Bru here.

(Note: Absent at the AGM were the deputy chairman and GEIC. According to the chairman, they were both recuperating from recent surgery, at Pantai Hospital.)

9 comments:

Mat Salo said...

Hmmm... another salahlaku in the making? What's with these people? Some sort of immunity or what? Clear cut case of abuse of shareholders funds. Good you attended kak Ena, hold 'em accountable!

nstman said...

How can NSTP pay for the legal fees of the plaintiffs. This is preposterous, idiotic and an insult to every minority shareholder. This is ridiculous. Okay what happens if the plaintiffs win? Do the damages go to the company or the plaintiffs? This is insane. Now we know why the NST is going to the dogs (with apologies to Jose Mourinho).

Anonymous said...
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prufrock said...

I can't disagree with you, ma'am, that the plaintiffs have the moral obligations to pick up their own legal bleeding tabs. But then, of late, morality has been in short supply in the pongy atmosphere of jln riong's management circle. What with a boy trying to do a man's job in the ce's chair and the head scribe (or that's what he thinks he is just because he was once a passable reporter)passing himself off as god's gift to the world of managment just because his business provides high financial returns due to rent seeking arrangement.

But the sad thing is that the place can ill afford to spend money willy nilly, given the less than stellar revenue intake from its core business. And yet 70K has been coughed up for the solicitors. One wonders what the final payment would amount to.

However, the more pertinent question, to my mind, is whether the defamation charges should be preferred at all in the first instance. If one pride one's trade as a definitive opinion maker and the conscience of the public, then one should roll with the punches should a third party take a dig at one's own person or at one's vehicle through which one makes judgements and pronouncements. To otherwise take offence is to dabble in double standards. And that, to say the least, is slightly more than hypocritical.

It seems to me that preferring the libel charges as they did border on sheer madness. Or are the plaintiffs trying to live up to the adage "Those whom God wishes to destroy, he first makes mad"?

Valli said...

a-ha! so you are a nst shareholder. i wanted to advise you to sell off your shares but, alas, the price is so damn low. you must have bought them at rm5 or rm6. no reason to make a loss just because you don't like nst anymore. when the price is right, dump the shares. that company is going down the drain. really.

but keep ONE lot maybe just to attend the agm and put these jokers in their place. i congratulate datuk kadir and brother rocky. they have balls to go to the lions' den. they could have easily been mauled. but they are lions themselves. big ones. that puppy syed faisal must not be angry, in fact he should bersyukur for there are many things he must have learnt yesterday from the two gentlemen compared with from his bossses kalimullah and hishamudin.

as for his answers ((70k for legal fees), i think he better make a correction before he's found out. the chairman already get a BIG kick in the rear for the "lie" about kali being in pantai hospital. hilarious!

Mr. Smith said...

Well, lets take a look down south. Lee Kuan Yew and the other ministers had had several times sued opposition leaders and each time the suit was between indivuduals. It was never "The Government of Singapore and Lee Kuan Yew Vs B. Jeyaratnam".

Anonymous said...

NSTP to sue individuals for defamation. something unusual rite coz most of the time its the papers that get sued for standing up to their beliefs and principles. and its unbelievable that NSTP is covering the legal bills for the other 3 individuals. hey, if you think you are being libel, go ahead and sue but of course if you are wrong you pay your own legal bills; and you should never be covered by the big banyan tree which is NSTP in this case. What if you win? Does all the damages collected go to NSTP? Even then, personal and corporate matters shouldnt mix for proper governance sake, rite?

Anonymous said...

Nuraina: Note: Absent at the AGM were the deputy chairman and GEIC. According to the chairman, they were both recuperating from recent surgery, at Pantai Hospital.

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How convenient. I bet these two must have scheduled their operations to coincide with the AGM to avoid having to face the shareholders.

Oh come on, don’t say that I mean or tak baik cakap cam tu.

These two have done so much damage to the NST and are responsible for the pathetic state the paper is now.

Makes no difference to me, anyway, whether these two were present or not. That Kali didnt even squeak at last year’s AGM when Dato Kadir Jasin whacked Hishamuddin despite being there.

ma sweetlady

ahm said...

if there is a case sue them for cbt, being a shareholder yourself why dont you take the lead.... dare to take the chellange.

let's kicking mam...