Seronok mencaci maki dan memfitnah di alam siber, padah menanti


Berhati-hatilah ketika anda menulis, walaupun sekadar coretan di fb anda...

Saya terpanggil untuk menulis sedikit coretan ini setelah melihat perdebatan politik di fb yang sangat keras akhir-akhir ini.

Pada hari ini ramai orang mempunyai akses kepada internet. Mempunyai akaun fb atau blog sudah menjadi perkara lumrah. Di dalam media ini ramai yang akan berkongsi rasa, meluah pandangan, pendapat dan komen mengenai apa yang berlaku dalam kehidupan seharian.


Akan tetapi, saya suka memberi sedikit peringatan agar kita sedikit berhati-hati dalam menulis di dalam media-media sosial ini. Kerana walaupun media sebegini disebut sebagai media sosial, kesan di sudut perundangan adalah sama sahaja.

Saya setakat ini banyak mengendalikan kes-kes yang melibatkan siaran melalui internet ini. Termasuklah yang melibatkan penggunaan nama samaran d internet. Berdasar pengalaman, penulis di blog atau media lain seperti fb dan sebagainya tidak memahami betul-betul risiko apabila kita menulis sesuatu tulisan atau komen  yang memburuk-burukkan orang lain. Ramai yang ingat; dan berkata; biasalah kita bersosial, aku kata kat engkau, kemudian engkau kata kat aku. Atau dalam berpolitik; aku fitnah engkau, kemudian engkau fitnah aku...

Malangnya kedudukan perundangan tidak sebegitu. Fitnah adalah tetap fitnah dan pembuat atau penyebarnya adalah bertanggungan di sisi perundangan. Walaupun sekadar komen kepada status fb.
Di dalam kes Syed Husin Ali v Sharikat Penchetakan Utusan Melayu Berhad & Anor. [1973] 2 MLJ 56 telah diputuskan bahawa  secara asasnya, di dalam satu-satu kes fitnah, mahkamah akan melihat kepada:-

a. Kata-kata yang diadukan atau Artikel yang diadukan adalah satu kata-kata fitnah atau bersifat memfitnah terhadap Pengadu;

b. Kata-kata fitnah tersebut merujuk kepada Pengadu, dan bukannya orang lain;

c. Kata-kata fitnah itu sampai kepada orang lain, selain dari pembuat kata-kata dan pengadu.

Cukup syarat ini, maka orang yang membuat fitnah itu akan dianggap memfitnah dan akan bersalah. 
Apakah perkataan yang fitnah?

Dalam hal ini saya suka merujuk kepada kes Chok Foo Choo @ Chok Kee Lian v The China Press Bhd [1999] 1 MLJ 371 . Di dalam kes tersebut, Yang Arif Hakim Gopal Sri Ram telah menyatakan dengan jelas bahawa:


It cannot, I think, be doubted that the first task of a court in an action for defamation is to determine whether the words complained of are capable of bearing a defamatory meaning. And it is beyond argument that this is in essence a question of law that turns upon the construction of the words published. As Lord Morris put it in Jones v Skelton [1963] 3 All ER 952 at p 958:

The ordinary and natural meaning of words may be either the literal meaning or it may be an implied or inferred or an indirect meaning: any meaning that does not require the support of extrinsic facts passing beyond general knowledge but is a meaning which is capable of being detected in the language used can be a part of the ordinary and natural meaning of words (see Lewis v Daily Telegraph Ltd [1963] 2 All ER 151). 

The ordinary and natural meaning may therefore include any implication or inference which a reasonable reader, guided not by any special but only by general knowledge and not fettered by any strict legal rules of construction, would draw from the words. The test of reasonableness guides and directs the court in its function of deciding whether it is open to a jury in any particular case to hold that reasonable persons would understand the words complained of in a defamatory sense.
In my judgment, the test which is to be applied lies in the question: 

Do the words published in their natural and ordinary meaning impute to the Plaintiff any dishonourable or discreditable conduct or motives or a lack of integrity on his part?

 If the question invites an affirmative response, then the words complained of are defamatory. (See JB Jeyaretnam v Goh Chok Tong [1985] 1 MLJ 334.) 

Richard Malanjum J, in an admirable judgment in Tun Datuk Patinggi Haji Abdul-Rahman Ya'kub v Bre Sdn Bhd & Ors [1996] 1 MLJ 393, collected and reviewed the relevant authorities upon this branch of the subject and I would, with respect, expressly approve the approach adopted by him. 

Secara ringkasnya; kes ini mengatakan bahawa jika satu-satu kenyataan itu secara semula jadi menuduh pengadu sebagai seorang yang buruk moral atau perilakunya, maka ia boleh menjadi satu fitnah.


Kecuali lah pembuat kata-kata/ artikel itu datang dengan bukti bagi membuktikan kenyataannya benar dan bukannya fitnah.

Sebagai contoh, A menulis di fb dan menuduh F melakukan sumbang mahram dengan adiknya. Jika A tidak membawa bukti di mahkamah bahawa F benar-benar melakukan sumbang mahram dengan adiknya di mahkamah, maka A akan diputuskan mahkamah sebagai bersalah kerana memfitnah F.

Sesetengah orang menggunakan nama samaran di internet untuk menulis perkataan kasar dan fitnah terhadap orang lain. Ini adalah dengan tanggapan mereka akan lepas dari sebarang tanggungjawab dan mangsa berkenaan akan hancur kredibilitinya.

Saya pernah mengendalikan kes yang melibatkan perkara sebegini. Sememangnya pada peringkat awalnya menjadi satu kesukaran bagi saya kerana pada masa itu tiada kes-kes duluan yang dilaporkan di dalam mana-mana jurnal perundangan untuk saya jadikan panduan dalam mengendalikan kes sebegini. Terutama dalam membuktikan pemilik akaun berkenaan.

Tetapi saya yakin Allah akan membantu kita jika kita di pihak yang benar dan yakin dengan kuasaNya...

Sebenarnya ada berbagai cara akaun ini boleh dikesan. Pihak SKMM mempunyai satu jabatan khas untuk mengendalikan hal ini. Satu aduan boleh dibuat kepada SKMM dan Jabatan Forensik Digital di bawah SKMM akan menjalankan siasatannya.

Mahkamah pula mempunyai kaedahnya yang tersendiri dalam memutuskan kes yang melibatkan kesamaran identiti pemilik akaun. Antara rujukan perundangan yang relevan ialah seksyen 114A Akta Keterangan.

Di dalam satu kes yang pernah saya kendalikan; Plaintif telah dituduh menyelewengkan kuasanya sebagai Exco Kerajaan dan membolot hasil balak bernilai rm50 juta. Dalam kes tersebut; iaitu YB Dato' Hj Husam bin Hj Musa v Mohd Faisal bin Rohban Ahmad yang dilaporkan dalam Malayan Law Jurnal; [2015] 3 MLJ 364; adalah diputuskan bahawa;
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[23] The appellant also complains that the provision of s 114A of the EA 1950 was not considered by the learned judge. On this point, learned counsel for the appellant says:

1. When the amendment to section 114 EA was first debated in Parliament, the Legislature had focused their attention on 'internet anonymity' where they said, 'Pelbagai teknik boleh digunakan oleh penjenayah untuk menyembunyikan identity mereka dan ada kalanya mustahil untuk menentukan punca sebenar sesuatu emel atau data komunikasi elektronik yang lain.

2. In passing the bill, Parliament acknowledged the parameters of proof being on a balance of probability but much lower than the criminal standard required in establishing identity calling in aid the following presumptions. They were as follows:

2.1 If the name, photograph or pseudonym appeared in a publication, depicting said person to have some connection with the publication, said person was presumed to have published or re-published the contents of the publication;

2.2 If a publication originates from a network service that a person has registered, said person is presumed to have published or re-published the contents of the publication; or

2.3 If a publication originates from a computer which a person has custody or control of, said person is presumed to have published or re-published the contents of the publication.

3. It is submitted that the 1st presumption under section 114A, impacts on the defendant in that his photographs (exhibit 3–4), the defendant's letter to his follows blogger (exhibit P6) and OA linking the defendant to the blogspot (exhibit 1) thereby invoking the presumption of publication and connection to the OA.

4. In light of the foregoing, there is a proper basis for arriving at a presumption as the connection between the evidence tendered and the presumption relied on is not too remote and uncertain. For this, it is wise to heed the words of Devlin LJ in Berry v British Transport Commission [1962] 1 QB 306.
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[25] There was failure of proper judicial appreciation on the above issues related to s 114 of the EA 1950 making the judgment perverse.

[26] We have gone through the evidence repeatedly and we are satisfied that on the balance of probabilities, the plaintiff has made out a case against the defendant. The defendant in this case has also failed to rebut the presumption under s 114A of the EA 1950 and the defence of mere denial is not acceptable on the facts of the case as identity has been established on the balance of probabilities; and in defamation suit it need not be on beyond reasonable doubt. Such a proposition is also consistent with s 114(h) of the EA 1950 which states:

(h) that if a man refuses to answer a question which he is not compelled to answer by law, the answer if given would be unfavourable to him.

[27] We are satisfied that the learned trial judge had misdirected himself as averred in the memorandum of appeal. In the instant case, we are satisfied that the learned trial judge had not directed his mind to the relevant issues and had not acted in accordance with the law and the decision does not pass the acid test of reasonableness (see Damusa Sdn Bhd v MRCB Prasarana Sdn Bhd [2012] MLJU 795; [2012] 1 LNS 994).

Secara pendek; Seksyen 114A Akta Keterangan akan berfungsi memberikan pengesahan identiti dalam kes terdapat sebarang maklumat berkait pemilikan sesuatu akaun fb atau blog.

Terdapat juga yang mengatakan; kalau nak tuduh saya adalah tuan akaun tersebut, mana surat dari yahoo ka, google ka, kata akaun blog @ fb tu saya punya?

Sebenarnya inilah juga pembelaan dalam kes yang biasa saya jumpa berkait fitnah di alam cyber ini. Dan isu ini pernah menjadi masalah juga bagi saya yang mewakili plaintif dalam tuntutannya.

Akan tetapi Alhamdulillah semasa di Mahkamah Rayuan, mahkamah bersetuju dengan hujah saya semasa itu bahawa selain dari bukti bertulis (documentary evidence), mahkamah juga boleh melihat kepada keterangan lain yang ada bagi membuktikan pemilikan blog atau akaun internet. Kes tersebut ialah Dato’ Sukri bin Hj Mohamed v Wan Muhammad Azri bin Wan Deris yang boleh didapati di dalam Malayan Law Jurnal; [2016] 3 MLJ 529; Mahkamah memutuskan:-
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14] In our opinion the learned judge had misdirected himself on the law to reject the direct evidence of the oral testimonies of the witnesses that had clearly shown that they knew the respondent as a blogger who blogs using a pseudonym ‘papagomo’.

The learned judge gave no reason whatsoever as to why the oral evidence of the witnesses referred to above ought not to be believed except to say that the witnesses did not have any documentary evidence to support their claim that they knew the respondent. In our view it is reasonable to infer that in the world of bloggers it is highly probable that a blogger knows the other blogger next to him or her.

This probability is real because blogs are circulated in virtual space and they are widely read. It is not something that is unusual or unthinkable that sometimes bloggers do engage in virtual debate or argument and respond to each other over issues which attract public interest such as corruption and misuse of power or position by public officials or public figures.

The learned judge in our view had completely ignored the provision of ss 59 and 60 of the Evidence Act 1950 (‘Act 56’). Section 59 says all facts, except the contents of documents may be proved by oral evidence; and s 60 provides that oral evidence shall in all cases whatsoever be direct.

[15] The material fact that appellant need to prove in the first issue is whether the respondent was the blogger who blogs using the pseudonym ‘papagomo’. In this respect the evidence of SP3 and SP5 had shown that this fact is true. Moreover in the case of Datuk Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim v Wan Muhammad Azri bin Wan Deris [2014] 9 MLJ 605, the same issue was canvassed and SP3 had also given evidence as SP1 in that case as to the identity of ‘papagomo’ which SP1 said, in his evidence, refers to the respondent in that case. The respondent in that case is the same respondent as in this case. The learned High Court there accepted SP1’s evidence. In another case Abdul Razak bin Mohd Noor v Wan Muhammad Azri bin Wan Deris (Writ Summons No 23NCVC-17–01 of 2012, High Court Kuala Lumpur) (unreported), SP3 had also testified as plaintiff’s witness SP1 as to the identity of the respondent as the blogger ‘papagomo’ and his evidence was also accepted by the court.
Therefore in our opinion in this present appeal there is ample evidence for the court to conclude that the respondent is indeed the blogger ‘papagomo’. But the learned judge decided to reject this evidence. We disagree with his decision.

Maka berdasarkan dua kes yang saya nyatakan di atas ini; berhati-hatilah... jangan terlalu selesa menulis semahunya di internet dengan sangkaan kita akan terlepas...

Lagipun... Bukankah malaikat rakib dan atid sentiasa mencatat segala kerjabuat kita?