In today’s edition of the Malay Mail:
Blogger to pull plug on culprit
Kuala Lumpur, Sept 16:
A blogger, angered by a seditious message on his weblog, intends to lodge a police report today against the sender.
Peter Tan, who owns petertan.com/blog, said he will provide the Internet protocol (IP) address of the sender, nicknamed ‘good man’ to the police.
Tan, who started his blog two years ago, said the abusive message containing racial slurs was posted at 7.16pm last Sunday.
Tan, 39, from Penang, said he was puzzled when he saw the message, days after it was posted, as he was away attending a seminar for the disabled between Sept 10 and 14.
“As I had no access to the Net during the seminar, I could not screen the messages coming into the blog,” said Tan, a paraplegic.
Tan admitted that he had received several malicious messages on the blog last month but had deleted them.
“I’m keeping this one (message) for the authorities. This has gone too far and I want the person who did it to be held accountable.”
He said if this is allowed to go unchecked, it will give a negative impression of bloggers.
“Several bloggers also received such messages. We would just delete them.”
He said although the message was sent anonymously, bloggers should be responsible.
“Although my blog stresses the freedom of expression, each sender must be responsible for what they write.”
The blog, petertan.com/blog covers Tan’s life, disability issues and religious matters.
He said he will not be able to stop such messages but will constantly check and clear his blog of racist messages.
In the first case of its kind in Singapore, two men were charged in a district court on Sept 12 with making racist comments on the Internet. (see accompanying story)
They faced charges under the Sedition Act, which has been in place since 1948. Though the Act was amended in 1972 and 1985, this is the first time it has ever been used against individuals.
Offences under the Act carry a maximum jail term of three years and a S$5,000 (RM12,000) fine.
The online version is here.
I have not read the printed version of the Malay Mail yet. I know Jeff Ooi was interviewed. His entry is here. Apparently other bloggers were interviewed regarding this matter too. As an emerging force in society, bloggers should be united in promoting social responsibility on the Internet to stamp out such misuse. As Jeff puts it simply: What is illegal offline is also illegal online.
48 thoughts on “Blog-Buster”
i hope this becomes a lesson to all other would-be anonymous posters who think they can post such things & get away with it.
I wondered what the idiot posted about though.. hmm
“blog buster”? hehehe…please sire, don’t bust my blog!!! 😛 i think a more appropriate term would be “malicious commentor buster”, no?
As I have said many times, a lot of people are aware of their right but not their duties. I would not be surprised if the culprit turns out to be a irresponsible teenager who has no idea that he is breaking the law.
It’ sad some ppl think that Peter is looking for publicity when he reported this issue. I believe he is a sincere person doing what is necessary and needs to be done. It might be difficult to trace this person but at least it serves as a lesson to others. And even an IP might lead to something.
Let’s blog and comment in a responsible manner as eventually, the blog owner will be held accountable for whatever comments which were posted.
The freedom of expression exists in Malaysia and this is a priviledge to have this kind freedom, at least over the internetwork. However, to misutilise it to the extend of deteriorating certain party or people for own agenda is always not a right thing to do.
Halim did ask me this, what’s the way to tackle this issue? My answer is very simple, increase the authorisation level.
Spare bloggers a way out, please .. 😉
Dear Mr Tan,
I do realize that this is your blog and that you have every right to do as you please and to lodge a police report against ?good man? below for defiling your web space.
However, I would like to offer an opinion and urge you to consider very carefully your actions. First let me clarify that I am in no way related to the poster in question.
That said, allow me to play the devils advocate. However seditious, and even though the poster made the mistake of stereotyping and painting an entire race with the same brush, he does have his points. What he said, in the manner he said it, isn?t entirely accurate, nor was it tasteful, but it does contain elements of the truth and his arguments are in my opinion, valid to an extent.
Please don?t get me wrong. I am against inciting hatred amongst races, but don?t you think this is more of a case of a frustrated individual who is looking for a means of expression? I?m personally of the opinion that ?good man??s wrong is simply to lack the capacity/intellect to properly and tactfully express himself.
Also, please be mindful that that lodging a police report and having the government take action is a double edged sword and the path down a slippery slope. Once precedent is set that individuals who are simply expressing themselves can be routinely prosecuted, what is to stop out right censorship? As far as I know, nobody has been arrested for blogging, or commenting on one in Malaysia yet, let?s not start now.
So please, all I ask is that you consider what is going on before you take action.
Many want freedom of speech but more often than not, they do not take responsibility it.
In everything, there is a limit. Even in freedom of speech.
A limitless world would be a catastrophe.
Peter, let’s hope your efforts are fruitful!
I saw the pics of the newspaper in Suanie’s post. Dude…you look so blur when they took your picture. Almost…geek-like even. But anyway, let’s hope things like this aren’t all talk now and die off later kinda events.
Viceice, considering that Peter is LUCKY not to be arrested is a good thing. People in Singapore have been arrested for such things as well as people in the States being sued for comments (not posts) on their site.
It’s a pretty serious matter for bloggers considering that we don’t exactly have rights to be protected, so it’s a pretty good job that Pete’s taking matters in his hands. Being proactive is what solves this problem…not waiting for it to get worse before you say things could be done.
You taking a rite path. We need to be accountable for what we says. Offline or Online.
Good Enough Edrei. I’m only preaching level-headedness, I’m not saying Peter should do nothing. 😀
i wonder when this madness will end?
recently read the article, and am quite surprised that this came out in the papers. Sad to say that many of the commentors out there do not realize, or fail to realize that defamation on both the physical and the virtual world can in fact place a lot of harm to an individual’s pride,well being and mentality.
viceice : peter did what is right, and in my opinion it was right of him to do so. Place yourself in his shoes… you’ll do the same thing.
I have also experienced some anonymous soul posting malicious comment about me and my wife (and in one instance my mother) on my blog. At first i deleted the comments but clearly my stalker has an IQ and EQ of a 10 year old. Now, i just let him use my blog as an outlet for him to learn how to grow up. well.. at least I hope so.
I believed what has been done by Peter is the correct. We are free to express ourselves but not in a manner this “good guy” expressing himself. This is not the first time either as I have read his similar posting in “Brand New Malaysia” until MacZul has to disable the comment facility of his blog.
We must send a strong message to these type of people that they should not use blog to promote hatred and mallicious messages.
I’m with you Peter on this police report thingy…
Sorry that someone placed something offensive on your blog but there is a good…from the newspaper article I discovered your blog…so I guess there’s a silver lining to the dark cloud huh? as a curio…I always encourage people to leave a comment whether smart stupid or irrelevant…
Great to read about your take on being a Catholic and how you found the light in the wake of a death…a fellow Catholic here albiet still looking for the grace to be called a good child of God…The almighty have been very good to me but I guess I am still trying to find my place in the complexity of modern life.
Take care and all the best tommorow…
I agree with the action you have decided to take.
If good man had to make such a statement, he should have done it on his own site, not comment on a post that was totally unrelated. It’s so simple nowadays for one to publish their own thoughts. It’s pretty obvious good man is trying to take advantage of blogs he deems to have wide readership.
This issue not about race nor popularity, it’s about responsibility alike among every member of the blogsphere, and that includes commentors.
It is unfortunate that people seem to forget that freedom comes with a price, in this case, it’s responsibility and rationality.
good to see u back online and safe and well.
Whoa! cool down man.
Front page in Malay Mail, enuf to get anyone excited…
I’ve seen worse posts in public forums namely lowyat.net…these buggers actually go back and forth spewing sh*t about each other….both sides’ comments just as disgusting…
I think viceice needs to be careful here … this is a potential powderkeg situation! Whatever our views on truth/lies and ABUSE of freedom of expression that this goodman’s comments has stirred up, let me say this : none of us want to see this episode being blown out of proportion and evolve into anything more than a SINGLE act of stupidity by one person.
Peter, while I support taking of firm action to DEAL with this incident, let’s not DIGNIFY the incident to be anything more than a case of the rantings of a coward and a moron. Peter, I pray that you will thread carefully as to your course of action. Please DO NOT play into his hands.
As a Malaysian Chinese and Christian, I would like to let all the Muslim and Malay friends out there know that WE DO NOT SHARE any of the views posted by that PEABRAIN goodman. Whatever it is : we are all Malaysians. We’ve been through so much TOGETHER – British Colonialism, The Japanese Invasion, The Indonesian-Malaysian Konfrontasi, The Communists and countless other bad times AS WELL AS the good times. We have BLED together (my grandfather was in the Royal Malaysian Police) and we are all brothers! There is really nothing more to it other than the fact that we share the common love for peace and to see our nation prosper with our joint efforts.
Let us think of that Merdeka tv ad a few years back by our national carrier … a few boys playing rugby, a Malay, Chinese and an Indian. They faced the 6 footer plus British boys together. The Japs came, the British were marched down the street in front of them. They were forced to bow. Soon, the British returned. And then time came when they had to part (for studies etc)… with a puff of the cheeks they bid farewell. Only to be reunited years later under different circumstances at the airport. When they saw each other as 70 yr olds, tears came to their eyes : deep down they were still the same boys playing together, learning together, falling and getting up together.
Let’s put this ugly incident behind us and pray to God Almighty for this ‘goodman’ to be brought to his senses (in God’s perfect timing) and to appeal to Him to also grant us all wisdom and patience in dealing with this ugly incident.
You know you’re the man. We’ve always talked about what we would do when these kind of things happen around us. Now that the ball hits home, I’d like to see more proactive moves from our sides.
We can make it work 🙂 and from the looks of it, we surely will.
Well yes Adrian we ALL need to be careful. We also at should not be hasty to judge and always listen to both sides of the story.
I think you will agree with me that while it seems easier to sweep hard question under the rug, not confronting those questions means one fine day it will return to haunt us.
This problem is bigger then you, me and goodman, it affects us all regardless of race or religion and you can be sure that in the end, we will all suffer for it.
LEVEL HEADS PEOPLE! PLEASE!
Why don’t you use a blogging engine which lets you vet comments posted before you allow them to go online as many moderated lists worldwide do.
Try posting a comment or replying to posts on this list called the Men’s Long Hair Hyperboard operated by a long haired Dell engineer in Texas and you’ll be informed that your messages has been held for approval.
Victor set up the Men’s Long Hair Hyperboard as a forum to discuss issues of concern or interest — such as job discrimination, social acceptance, haircare tips, etc — to men who choose to have long hair.
He is quite strict about allowing through posts on contentious matters like politics, racist comments, foul language, personal abuse, making sexual advances to list members and so on and the list perhaps one of the most successful forums on long hair issues on the Internet.
As a long haired person yourself, perhaps you may want to share your experiences with our fellows around the world.
However, reporting the culprit to the authorities is not the way to go, since it will only frighten people away from saying anything on the Internet and defeat the spirit of free speech on the Internet.
Indeed, with free speech comes responsibility and as the blog owner, you’ve got every right to set the rules and require a certain measure of decorum in posts and comments to your list.
Find a blogging engine or service provider which enables you to moderate posts before you allow them online and save everyone, including the offensive poster, a lot of grief.
First of all its a good thing that you have gone to the authorities,hopefully this will opne up the eyes of other commenter who think of commenting that way willhave to think over and over again. You have done a good job here,and am sure that that person will get caught! and he will face the music.
Once he’s caught let’s leave it into the hands of the authorities, i pray that he will lighten your way and guied you in everything you do.
I really agree with what Adrian Choo said no matter
what we are still Malaysians, we are still one under the same flag,government,more importantly we are holding the same identity as a country.Why make such a huge fuss of who we are?Chinese,Malay,Indian and other races we are all Malaysian,we should be really proud that we are living in multi-cultural country and there is no war etc going on,be thankful!!
Now that am studying overseas(New Zealand),i find myself telling people that am from Malaysia and am really proud of it,it feels so proud and so nice,and it feels even better when people comment on how we can have so many different cultural living together.From time to time when Malaysian studying or working overseas gatehr together its nice to hear comments from the locals here(Kiwis) saying how much the love Malaysia,how nice Malaysia is etc its so pleasing.The most coolest thing that happends when am overseas is that i get to meet so many other Malayisans,from the north to the south and the east to the west,its just so nice and no matter what we hold the same identity,we are Malaysians!
Come to think of it,what if some other people reads that post, i just wonder what they will think if us Malaysian?People have such a good picture on Malaysia and please don’t dirty that beautiful picture that our Prime Ministers have painted.
Let us now put this behind us and move forward,let us just pray that one day,in God’s prefect timing, he will come to his sense.Let us now be strong under one flag and be a PROUD MALAYSIAN!latsly,May His wisdom and blessing continue to be with us! God Bless!
Adrian Choo:AMEN!!Let us forget this ugly thing and move forward,continue on to be strong in Him and be a proud Malaysian! May the Lord Hand and Blessing be with you always! God Bless!
*too bad i can’t watch that Merdeka advertistment.. :'(
Posted this in a previous entry. Should’ve been here actually.
I think he just made a comment in a very distasteful manner. People like him are definitely common. You can even find these people in local kopitiams.
I read the paper and well, if he should be caught then I think all who speaks the way he does offline should be caught as well. What is illegal online should be illegal offline too, no?
just delete lah.. and move on. need publicity leh?
mula2 saya dapat mesej dari goodman ni di jurnal saya, saya rasa panik. mcm tak percaya. marah sangat2 pun ada.
saya copy perenggan pertama tulisan goodman tu, dan paste di google. saya jumpa dua forum yang bincang tentang bende2 racist ni dan goodman ni copy salah satu kenyataan dalam forum tu dan paste kat ramai blog orang. sungguh menyedihkan. saya naik HANGIN.
tapi lepas itu saya bertenang, saya fikir balik. bukan semua cina mcm ni, lectuers saya seme orang baik2 tolong seme students tak kira bangsa walaupun saya bukan orang cina. dan saya ramai kawan cina yang sehati sejiwa. kalau kita ikut benda ni seme insya allah kita akan hidup aman sampai bila2. saya sokong tindakan awak, peter lantaklah orang nak cakap awak nak publisiti ke apa ke bukan diorang bagi awak makan, yang penting kita dah jalankan tanggungjawab. bende2 macam ni la yang boleh ulangkan peristiwa 13 mei.
sapa nak mati dalam keadaan mcm tu, gaduh2 seme? takkan nak jadi macam negara lain berperang tak sudah dan tak maju2? lebih baik hidup elok2 kawan2 dengan seme orang itu lebih bahagia. kita seme ada kekurangan dan kelebihan. memanglah semua orang ada rasa tak puas hati sesama sendiri tapi kita ada akal kita mesti kawal perasaan dan selalu bertanggungjawab dengan tindakan yang kita buat. kalau kita bersatu hidup bantu membantu kekurangan tu boleh diatasi dan kelebihan itu akan menghasilkan sesuatu yang lebih baik lagi.
tahniah peter. selamat maju jaya.
whatever happened to forgiveness? I hope you win your case big!
LOts of comments both pro and cons. In the end, I believes its Peter’s decision. Posting comment and all the hooha’s about freedom of speech. Like what most bloggers would say ” its my blog” SO ? cant all of us bloggers be more responsible with our view. Dat will solve lots of problems.
I think this is a dangerous path for Peter and fellow Bloggers to take.
The legal case will open up so many issues that are part of the Internet. For example, how do we know that the IP address taken is the actual “Goodman’s”?
From what I know of IP, it is very easy to give a false IP. Take my IP for example… I took the IP address off every DNS header of the packets sent to the comment service for this site. So instead of my ‘actual IP’ I am giving a false one.
Another thing is what if the ‘crime’ was done in the Internet Cafe? What then?
And what if this guy (I assume this is a guy, sorry for being sexist) was an advanced Net user who instead of giving a false ID, planted another person’s (spoof) IP address. And this is extremely easy to do for those who has the know how for network computing.
A legal precedent would definitely open up scores of issues that point to the vulnerabilities of the Internet which has always been there. It is that we, Malaysians, in general are ignorant to the fact. We think that the Internet is something controllable. But this isnt the case and will never be the case.
And when more of these crimes occurs, only one recourse seems inevitable by the Malaysian government; stricter guidelines on ISPs like what the Chinese Government is trying to exact at the moment.
In my opinion, this is really a small fuss that will open up a whole big can of worms that not many people know exists.
What I am commenting here is not sci-fi or anything. I tested this myself to ensure the validity of this. For those who are curious about their IP addresses go here: http://www.showmyip.com . At the moment, it is saying that I am a person staying in UK. LOL.
Please reconsider this and utilise legal means when it necessitates that action. This “goodman” is but a small fry who is out to cause irritation. Should one bad person rile us up so much that we open avenues for more wrongdoings?
All the best. The decision is yours. 🙂
Oh…. I agree with Charles… very insightful that link 🙂 Thanks!!!!
Looking through all the postings on this “good man” issue both here and in the print media, notably the Malay Mail, it’s an eye opener that there are quite a large proportion of Internet users who favour punitive measures against such persons.
In all my years as an iformation technology writer with a local newspaper, I’ve been exposed mainly to very libertarian views on freedom of speech and all that hoo ha on the Internet.
Quite frankly, I too favour punitive measures against spammers, people who send viruses and other maliscious content, spy on people’s private and confidential information, use one’s PCs or servers to launch damaging attacks and so on.
I guess those libertarian views arose in the early days of the mass proliferation of the Internet, when there were fewer users and smaller communities and back then, it was after the Cold War, when people were lulled into a false sense of security, with no enemies to contend with.
However, this is the post 9/11 era when the US itself has been taking fairly draconian measures like installing Carnivore servers in ISPs, etc to monitor Internet traffic and content, so it’s not surprising that Internet users’ views have changed as well.
Anyway. if such offensive postings don’t appear on the blog site, the blog owner won’t get into trouble with the law, so moderation of postings will save blog owners any grief.
Quite frankly, if an editor of a mainstream newspaper received a post like this one, whether electronically or in hard copy, it most likely will simply end up in the spike queue or the dustbin respectively.
I believe it’s important to take FakePIiseasy’s caution seriously, since reporting the matter to the authorities could end up with the wrong guy being hurt.
Peter Tan says:
Comment removed due to inflammatory nature.
Goodman: Can’t you start your OWN BLOG instead of putting all these views here?
I agreed with “viceice”. He has his point. Internet is so far the only venue for individuals to speak out what he or she holds true. I share the same feelings as “goodman” but like many of us, we are the silent majority. We do not our anyone a living. We work hard for the country and we deserve to be treated as a malaysian. Oh by the way Peter, (media publicity) seems to be working well for you to promote your blog huh. Good on ya! Will visit your blog from time to time.
WOW ! YOU ARE TEH PRO IN INTERNET TECHNOLOGY !!!!!11
YOUR ENGLAND IS TEH BERRY TEH POWDERFUL TWO !!!!111
YOUR ARE FROM TEH UK ??????
This good man really has guts. But at a wrong place. I hope police will look into this case seriously and all of us would reallylike to know how does he look like. Maybe he has a “horn” on his head with red eyes.
“From what I know of IP, it is very easy to give a false IP. Take my IP for example… I took the IP address off every DNS header of the packets sent to the comment service for this site. So instead of my ‘actual IP’ I am giving a false one.”
I’m with Paul Tan here. HUH??
I don’t understand why you even started this commmentary box. What’s there to discuss? Sue the people you want and get on with your life. Do some editing to your blog messages in future. Laziness is not an excuse.
You have fail to understand blogging. You have fail to understand democracy. You have fail to understand fundamental human rights. You have fail the oversea chinese. You behave more like singaporeans who are the most disgracefull chinese out of china.
Please don’t setup blog if you don’t understand the most basic human rights.
ASDGHJ, you fail English.
My general sentiments is that goodman’s postings are misconstrued and poorly written, and is definitely racist. Regardless of freedom of speech or otherwise, his comment was not related to your blog, so the best response is just to delete the comment.
There is no need to fear repercussions for comments posted on your blog. Edrei mentioned Singaporeans were charged under the Sedition Act, but bear in mind that the ones charged were the ones who posted the comments, and not the forum moderators. You, Peter, have committed no crime.
The matter of bloggers in the USA being charged for comments on their blog is a different matter altogether. Their laws are not our laws, and furthermore even there, noone has been proven liable and convicted. Maybe Malaysian bloggers -are- over-reacting just a bit.
Reporting to police will hurt Peter Tan’s credibility more than it hurts ‘good man’. After all, do you need the police to be your babysitter?
The simplest thing for Peter Tan will be to either disable commenting totally, keep deleting inflamatory comments, or keep lodging police reports.
The last option will show Peter is powerless little man who needs the police to protect him always.
Comments are closed.