A number of letters of demand were served on our reporters in connection with a Commentary (https://dayakdaily.com/the-bn-friendly-grave-digger/) that was allegedly defamatory to YB Johnichal Rayong.
DayakDaily is prepared to and now make amends with apologies if the words in our Commentary have hurt YB Johnichal Rayong (without admission of liability basis) for the words used were truly unintentional, innocent, quoted from source, qualified as public interest or were honest opinions. Our reporters have banded together to clarify below.
The words “not as smart” was stated as a comparison to Datuk Joseph Entulu whom we ranked as a political strategist (https://dayakdaily.com/why-did-entulu-decide-not-to-contest/) in our preceding Commentary. Similarly, it cannot be defamatory to state if YB Johnical is not as smart as ‘Einstein’ when it comes to Science. So, YB Johnichal is smart by and large.
The expression “small-time state assemblyman” was made as a comparison to a big-time state assemblyman in Sarawak, in particular and in the same sentence, the President of UPP who is also Second Minister of Finance Sarawak. Our Commentary did not imply that YB Johnichal is a useless politician as alleged in the letter of demand. The fact that PRS needed to have YB Johnical’s active support for its candidate in Lubok Antu shows that YB Johnichal is a very important politician.
References to the words “if Rayong sabotages”, “… also digging Andrew’s grave”, etc. were sufficiently quoted as common opinions that came along with the fact that some PRS members in Lubok Antu have responded to the rumour during the last election. We questioned this rumour. Our questions were framed to ask the readers in terms of “Whether is he aware” and use of phrase such as “is debatable”.
Therefore, it was the rumour (which we questioned) that has hurt YB Johnichal, not our Commentary. As can be seen, DayakDaily actually highlighted the rumours as rumours, questioned the rumour and thus gave YB Johnichal his opportunity to refute.
The following day, within less than 24 hours, DayakDaily published a news article “Misunderstanding with Rayong in Lubok Antu solved, says Masing” which helped stop rumours, highlighted the rumours as misunderstanding and confirmed YB Johnichal’s allegiance only for BN at that time.
DayakDaily also thanks all lawyers who have extended their invaluable legal advice to DayakDaily reporters on pro-bono basis.