Google and blogger sued by curry fish head restaurant
KOTA KINABALU: The director of a fish head curry restaurant which is recommended by Lonely Planet is suing a blogger and Google for defamation.
Jothys Sdn Bhd director Tharumaraj Sivaperumal filed a RM6mil civil suit at the Kota Kinabalu High Court, naming blogger Poh Huai Bin as the first defendant and California-based Google Inc as the second defendant.
The suit filed on Monday is over allegedly defamatory statements made about Jothys Fish Head Curry Restaurant here which was posted in May last year by Poh, who is originally from Sibu, Sarawak and now resides in Kuala Lumpur.
The company, which is represented by counsel Marcel Jude Joseph, is seeking exemplary or punitive damages and an order to restrain Poh from defaming the restaurant on the Internet.
The company 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 defendants would be injurious to its business.
Tharumaraj said he felt very let down when the blogger demeaned his fish head curry and banana leaf restaurant and urged the people to “avoid it like a bad case of herpes”.
“There were many people who posted positive things about my restaurant in his blog but it was removed and only the negative chats were kept,’’ he said, adding that he did not know the blogger.
On why he decided to sue Google, he said if one used Yahoo or other search engines, the offending blog does not appear immediately but in Google, it would show up first.
As a result of the defendants’ action, Tharumaraj claimed he suffered losses and damages and his restaurant’s reputation had been affected, both locally and internationally.
The plaintiff claimed that the restaurant, which opened in 1987, was known globally and had been reported as a well-known destination in Sabah in a global TV and book series known as Lonely Planet, which was an authority for tourists throughout the world.
The company also claimed that Google conducts business within the jurisdiction of Malaysian courts by reason of the fact that its search engine is used regularly by Internet users in the country.
When contacted, a Google official in Kuala Lumpur said the company could not comment on cases that were in litigation.
I believe it is silly for this guy to sue a blogger for a personal opinion he published. That was his taste, for gottsakes!!
For all you know, there might have been some conflict between the two parties - maybe the defendant was "taken for granted", and treated like an ignorant tourist, when knew knew Indian food very well.
Just because Lonely Planet mentions them (for which he might have paid), or tourist ignorant about really good Indian food know his outlet - doesn't mean they are good!!
This smug-looking Tharumaraj fella would do better by improving his food/ services, instead of making things worse for himself with added negative publicity for the restaurant- now everybody knows such an article was written, and would intead of avoiding it like herpes- would instead avoid it like the plague!!
Personally- Based on my experience in KK around last June, I'd concur with the opinion of Mr Poh Huai Bin- and my better half would vouch for it. Another (unair-conditioned) restaurant futher down the street served better South Indian food- although still far from the quality of the food served in the average Banana Leaf shop in Semenanjung/KL .......