In many countries, including ours, there are laws to govern injury to reputation and protect real victims.
In Malaysia, we have the Defamation Act and in many instances, a person who had spoken badly or written something that affected another person’s reputation can receive quite unpleasant consequences.
The alleged defamer can be threatened with a defamation suit.
He might receive a letter saying that unless he retracts the impugned statement, he would be sued.
While most of the time these threats of defamation are just bluffs, they were effective in that the threat was enough to deter the person from speaking out, or enough to make him publish a retraction.
But at times real proceedings for defamation are initiated and this is the first step in a defamation action.
Legal papers like statements of claim and writs or summons should be treated seriously and carefully. Seeking legal advice is the best thing to do. Ignoring the papers will only bring trouble.
The case could go for a trial whereby the alleged defamer put up defences like justification or qualified privilege or the case could be settled with an apology or payment or both.