Tuesday October 2, 2012
Judge: Consider Mkini’s application
KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has asked the Home Ministry to consider an application by news portal Malaysiakini for a printing permit.
Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim granted Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd an order of certiorari, ruling that the ministry had a duty to provide reasons if refusing to grant a permit.
“The right to free expression includes the right to publish and, thus, is a fundamental liberty.
“Thus, there is a duty on the respondent to give reasons,” the judge said when quashing the ministry’s decision not to consider a publishing permit application for a print version of news website www.malaysiakini.com.
On April 14, 2010, Mkini director C. Premesh applied for a publishing permit under Section 6 (1)(a) of the Printing and Publishing Act 1984 for a Malaysiakini newspaper.
On Aug 19 the same year, after receiving a letter from the ministry that it would not consider the permit, Mkini filed an application for judicial review.
It named the ministry’s secretary-general, the ministry and the Govern-ment as respondents.
Justice Abang Iskandar said the ministry’s decision had failed the Wednesbury test of reasonableness, due to its failure to account for the fact that Malaysiakini had received awards for journalism.
He ordered the respondents to pay Mkini RM5,000 in costs.