Jeff Ooi

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Yang Berhormat Jelutong George Town
Jeff Ooi Chuan Aun
MP
黄泉安
Jeff Ooi (square crop).jpg
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Jelutong
Incumbent
Assumed office
8 March 2008
Preceded by Lee Kah Choon (BN)
Majority 16,246
Personal details
Born 1956
Nationality Malaysian
Political party DAPPakatan Rakyat
Occupation Politician
Religion Buddhism
Website www.jeffooi.com

Ooi Chuan Aun[1] (Chinese: 黄泉安; pinyin: Huáng Quán'ān) (born c. 1956[2]), better known as Jeff Ooi, is a Malaysian IT consultant by profession, an ex-blogger, photographer and politician. He is currently the Member of Parliament for Jelutong in the 13th Malaysian Parliament.

He is from a small town in the northern Malaysian state of Kedah. He was brought up among rural teenagers and is trilingual, being fluent in Mandarin, English and Malay.

Internet activity[edit]

Jeff Ooi used to write a blog known as "Screenshots..." which he started on 2 January 2003. It covers current issues relating to Malaysia, mainly on politics. From time to time, it also touches on international news and photography.

Jeff Ooi's blog has been dubbed "Malaysia's Most Influential Blog" by Malaysiakini, a local online news publication known for its difference in stance with the mainstream media. In 2005, Screenshots won the Asia category of the Freedom Blogs Awards given by Reporters Without Borders.[3]

Jeff Ooi also administrates a photography forum called Lensa Malaysia, which receives 200,000-page views per month. He is also the founder and administrator of USJ and Subang Jaya's own community forum usj.com.my, and was hired by CNET Asia as a tech blogger alongside other CNET Asia bloggers. He named his CNET Asia blog Lemak Lemang, a reference to coconut-flavoured sticky rice stuffed in a bamboo container traditionally prepared by Malays.

Entry into politics[edit]

In 2006, it was reported by The Star, a local English language daily, that Ooi was among several local bloggers being wooed by the opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) to run for public office. Ooi, who was at the time a member of Gerakan Rakyat Malaysia (Malaysian People's Movement), a major party in the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition government, stated that "it's too premature at this point" for him to consider entering active politics.[4]

He joined DAP on 31 July 2007.[5] Ooi contested as a DAP candidate in Malaysia's 2008 general election for a seat in Jelutong, Penang.,[6][7] which he won by a majority margin of 16246 votes.[1].

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia: P50 Jelutong[8][9]
Year Opposition Votes Pct Government Votes Pct Independent Votes Pct
2008 Ooi Chuan Aun (DAP) 30,493 67% Thor Teong Gee (Gerakan) 14,247 31% Badrul Zaman bin P.S. Md Zakariah 882 2%
2013 Ooi Chuan Aun (DAP) 43,211 70% Ng Fook On (Gerakan) 17,461 28%

Lawsuit[edit]

On 11 January 2007, Ooi, alongside Ahirudin Attan, was sued by the New Straits Times Press.[10] The Malaysian court ordered Ooi to remove more than 10 postings on his blog that the NSTP claimed were libellous by 17 January. Ooi is prohibited from republishing those postings in his blog or on the internet until the disposal of the defamation suit filed by New Straits Times Press (NSTP). The lawsuits are the first of their kind in Malaysia.[11] Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has defended legal action launched against him, saying the Internet was not exempt from defamation laws.[12] This lawsuit has spawned the Bloggers United campaign to defend bloggers and the freedom of expression, and Jeff Ooi and Ahirudin have chosen to defend in court. The situation resulted in the coverage of Malaysian blogging on various newspapers. A fund has also been set up to protect bloggers and support their activities, entrusting the fund to Marina Mahathir and friends.

Controversy[edit]

Jeff Ooi called Mohd Razali Abdullah, a Penang Municipal councillor, an Islamic extremist. This has caused public furore especially from the Muslim community because while Razali is a member of Jemaah Islah Malaysia (JIM), the organisation itself is a registered body and has a close tie with Ooi's party's youth wing, Penang DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy). It gave the impression that Syariah Law is extreme and Muslims are extremists. Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng has ordered Ooi to retract his statements and apologise publicly. Ooi finally withdrew his statements after denying previous calls by certain parties, as an adherence to his superior's order. However, he did not offer any apology. He continued on criticising Razali. [13] The Islamic religious leaders association of Penang (Persatuan Ulama' Malaysia cawangan Pulau Pinang) has launched a signature campaign to the public to support the demand Jeff Ooi to resign from office for his demeaning remarks on Muslims and Islam in Malaysia.[14]

See also[edit]

Notes and references[edit]

  1. ^ Puah, Pauline (18 January 2007). NST sues Jeff Ooi, Rocky for defamation. The Sun.
  2. ^ "Election strategist among new faces". The Star Online. 12 February 2008. Retrieved 12 February 2008. 
  3. ^ Blogs lauded in 'freedom awards'. (17 June 2005). BBC News.
  4. ^ Tan, Joceline (26 November 2006). Cyberspace talent search. The Star.
  5. ^ Media statement by Jeff Ooi, DAP Malaysia, 31 July 2007.
  6. ^ "Screenshots: Jelutong". Ooi, Jeff. 21 February 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2008. 
  7. ^ Lim, Ai Lee (14 February 2008). "DAP rockets into Penang eyeing seven parliamentary seats". The Star. 
  8. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 1 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen 2013" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 6 May 2013. 
  10. ^ Ooi, Jeff (18 January 2006). Bloggers sued in Malaysia. Screenshots.
  11. ^ "Court gags Malaysian blogger". Retrieved 19 January 2007. 
  12. ^ "Malaysian PM defends legal action against bloggers". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2007. 
  13. ^ "MP urged to apologise for calling JIM an 'extremist organisation'". Retrieved 7 August 2009. 
  14. ^ "Signature campaign demanding Jeff Ooi to resign". Retrieved 9 September 2009. 

External links[edit]