The Kuala Lumpur High Court's Appellate and Special Powers division has quashed the Home Ministry's decision not to grant a publishing permit to Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd which operates the Malaysiakini news portal.
Ruled the ministry’s decision as “improper and irrational”, Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim also said the home minister's decision was misdirected as it exceeds the limit of its jurisdiction.
“The decision affects the right of the plaintiff to the right to freedom of expression which also includes the right to a permit, and it is a fundamental liberty enshrined in the constitution,” he said.
"Hence, the court allows the application for a certiorari (to quash) the decision of the respondents (Home Ministry) and the applicant needs to submit its letter to the ministry.”
Justice Abang Iskandar noted that freedom of expression (through publication) is a natural right and enshrined in Article 10 of the federal constitution.
He also recognised the fact that the portal has won numerous local and international awards, and that this should not stop the authorities from not giving a permit.
Justice Abang Iskandar also ordered the Home Ministry to pay RM5,000 in costs.
K Shanmuga and Edmund Bon represented Mkini Dotcom.
Read full report at Malaysiakini