Wednesday, January 26, 2011
ON Wednesday 26th January 2011, Search engine Google said in Kuala Lumpur that it will open a Malaysian office, its second in Southeast Asia, following significant growth in Internet usage in the country.
The Google function was officiated by Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Datuk Mukhriz Tun Mahathir, at around 10 am.
At around the same time and on the same date, some 2,000 kilometres away across the South China Sea, Google was instead sued for defamation by a popular Indian cuisine restaurant in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.
The Indian restaurant is also suing a blogger.
Jothy's Fish Head Curry restaurant director Tharumaraj Sivaperumal filed a 6 million Ringgit Malaysia (which is peanuts compared to Google's USD30 billion annual profits) civil suit at the Kota Kinabalu High Court on Monday, 26th January 2011.
The civil suit names 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.
So.. it's Google vs Jothy's fish head curry!!! who will win???