Associated Press via Yahoo News reports that the Malaysian Appeals Court upheld a High Court order against Richard Fong Khee Choong to take down a personal website he set up in October 2002 about his Perodua Kelisa.

Perodua sued Richard Fong for defamation and the court ordered Fong to shut down the website pending resolution of the defamation suit.

Does this mean we can’t complain about our cars anymore without having to fear lawsuits from the car manufacturers? This is outrageous. It makes me wonder, I could be next just in case any car manufacturer with deep pockets decides it doesn’t like my site. What constitutes defamation in this context?

I’ll end this blog post with a quote from United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Update: More details. It was not just bashing the Kelisa. Richard apparently posted on a Geocities website a statement accusing Perodua of bribery to get ISO 9000 certification from the United Kingdom Vehicle Certification Agency.

Read more about the case at Yahoo News.