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Ooi Chuan Aun[1] (simplified Chinese: 黄泉安; traditional Chinese: 黃泉安; pinyin: Huáng Quán Ān; born 2 November 1955[2]), better known as Jeff Ooi, is a Malaysian IT consultant by profession, an ex-blogger, photographer and politician. He was the two-term Member of Parliament for Jelutong in Penang (2008-2018).

Jeff Ooi
黄泉安
Jeff Ooi (square crop).jpg
Member of the Malaysian Parliament
for Jelutong, Penang
In office
8 March 2008 – 10 May 2018
Preceded byLee Kah Choon (Gerakan-BN)
Succeeded byRSN Rayer (DAP-PH)
Majority16,246 (2008), 25,750 (2013)
Personal details
Born
Ooi Chuan Aun

(1955-11-02) 2 November 1955 (age 64)
Kedah, Federation of Malaya (now Malaysia)
CitizenshipMalaysian
Political partyDAPPakatan Harapan
OccupationPolitician
Websitewww.jeffooi.com

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 activityEdit

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,[4] and was hired by CNET Asia as a tech blogger alongside other CNET Asia bloggers. He named his CNET Asia blog Lemak Lemang,[5] a reference to coconut-flavoured sticky rice stuffed in a bamboo container traditionally prepared by Malays.

Entry into politicsEdit

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 then ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition government, stated that "it's too premature at this point" for him to consider entering active politics.[6]

He joined DAP on 31 July 2007.[7] Ooi contested as a DAP candidate in 2008 general election for a seat in Jelutong, Penang,[8][9] which he won by a majority margin of 16,246 votes. He retained his seat in the 2013 general election.

Ooi was dropped by DAP as a candidate in the 2018 general election.[10]

Election resultsEdit

Parliament of Malaysia: P50 Jelutong[11][12]
Year Opposition Votes Pct Government Votes Pct Others Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
2008 Ooi Chuan Aun (DAP) 30,493 67% Thor Teong Gee (Gerakan) 14,247 31% Badrul Zaman P.S. Md Zakariah (IND) 882 2% 46,406 16,246 76.85%
2013 Ooi Chuan Aun (DAP) 43,211 70% Ng Fook On (Gerakan) 17,461 28% 61,725 25,750 86.64%

LawsuitEdit

On 11 January 2007, Ooi, alongside Ahirudin Attan, was sued by the New Straits Times Press.[13] The Malaysian court ordered Ooi to remove more than 10 postings on his blog that the NSTP claimed were libellous by 17 January. Ooi was prohibited from republishing those postings in his blog or on the internet until the resolution of the defamation suit filed by New Straits Times Press (NSTP). The lawsuits were the first of their kind in Malaysia.[14] Then Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi defended the legal action launched against Ooi, saying the Internet was not exempt from defamation laws.[15] This lawsuit spawned the Bloggers United campaign to defend bloggers and freedom of expression. Jeff Ooi and Ahirudin chose to defend themselves in court. The situation resulted in various newspapers covering Malaysian blogging. A fund was also set up to protect bloggers and support their activities.

ControversyEdit

In early August 2009, Jeff Ooi labelled Mohd Razali Abdullah, a Penang Municipal councillor, an Islamic extremist. This caused a public furore especially from within the Muslim community because while Razali was indeed a member of Jemaah Islah Malaysia (JIM), the organisation itself was a registered body and had close ties with Ooi's own party's youth wing, the Penang DAP Socialist Youth.[16] His comments gave the impression that Syariah Law was extreme and that Muslims are extremists. His superior at that time, the Chief Minister of Penang, Lim Guan Eng ordered Ooi to retract his statements and apologise publicly, which Ooi finally did after having denied previous calls to do so. However, he did not offer an apology and in fact continued criticising Razali, calling him "a political burden to the state government".[17] The Islamic religious leaders association of Penang (Persatuan Ulama' Malaysia cawangan Pulau Pinang) eventually launched a signature campaign to support the demand that Jeff Ooi resign from office for his demeaning remarks about Muslims and Islam in Malaysia.[18]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Puah, Pauline (18 January 2007). NST sues Jeff Ooi, Rocky for defamation Archived 21 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine. The Sun.
  2. ^ "Election strategist among new faces". The Star Online. 12 February 2008. Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 12 February 2008.
  3. ^ Blogs lauded in 'freedom awards'. (17 June 2005). BBC News.
  4. ^ "USJ-Subang Jaya e-Community Frontpage". usj.com.my.
  5. ^ "Lemak Lemang - Blogs - CNET Asia". 25 February 2007.
  6. ^ Tan, Joceline (26 November 2006). Cyberspace talent search. The Star.
  7. ^ Media statement by Jeff Ooi, DAP Malaysia, 31 July 2007.
  8. ^ "Screenshots: Jelutong". Ooi, Jeff. 21 February 2008. Archived from the original on 25 February 2008. Retrieved 21 February 2008.
  9. ^ Lim, Ai Lee (14 February 2008). "DAP rockets into Penang eyeing seven parliamentary seats". The Star. Archived from the original on 11 May 2008.
  10. ^ K. Suthakar and Arnold Loh (21 April 2018). "DAP six face the axe". The Star. Retrieved 21 April 2018.
  11. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 6 September 2011. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
  12. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen 2013" (in Malay). Election Commission of Malaysia. Archived from the original on 8 May 2013. Retrieved 6 May 2013.
  13. ^ Ooi, Jeff (18 January 2006). Bloggers sued in Malaysia Archived 20 February 2007 at the Wayback Machine. Screenshots.
  14. ^ "Court gags Malaysian blogger". Archived from the original on 23 January 2007. Retrieved 19 January 2007.
  15. ^ "Malaysian PM defends legal action against bloggers". Archived from the original on 26 January 2007. Retrieved 25 January 2007.
  16. ^ "Retract statement, Jemaah Islah Malaysia tells Ooi". www.thestar.com.my. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  17. ^ "MP urged to apologise for calling JIM an 'extremist organisation'". Archived from the original on 10 August 2009. Retrieved 7 August 2009.
  18. ^ "Signature campaign demanding Jeff Ooi to resign". Retrieved 9 September 2009.

External linksEdit