Cease government action against The Edge — Institute of Journalists Malaysia

Source: The Malay Mail Online

SEPTEMBER 21 — The Institute of Journalists Malaysia (IoJ) welcomes the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision today to quash the government’s suspension of the publishing licences of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily.

High Court judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad ruled that the Home Ministry acted illegally and irrationally in issuing the three-month suspension order. She noted that the Home Ministry’s show cause letter to The Edge publisher did not specify which articles the government found to be undesirable.

The IoJ urges the government not to appeal against the High Court ruling in the interest of press freedom, transparency and public accountability.

The government should, instead, exercise its right of reply and explain its side of the story on any issue in order to meet its obligations to the public interest, especially when it concerns public funds.

The press can only function in the public interest if it has the independence to report without fear or favour. The government has no right to license the press and should abolish its licensing regime with immediate effect.

Is lodging a report a crime now?

Source: Berita Daily

whistleblower-590KUALA LUMPUR: Former Umno man Khairuddin Abu Hassan’s intention to lodge a report to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) fiasco is not an offence, said National Young Lawyers Committee chairman Syahredzan Johan.

Saying that the remand order of Khairuddin was excessive, Syahredzan questioned the police’s real intention in the arrest of the former Batu Kawan Umno vice chief.

“Certainly there is no criminal offence in the first place. How can someone be arrested for wanting to lodge a report and how can it be deemed as an act to topple a government or sabotaging the economy?

“The six day remand is excessive. What are the police trying to investigate? What else do you want to investigate for six days?,” he said when contacted. Read more

Court reverses three-month ban on The Edge

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Asmabi ruled that the Home Ministry acted irrationally and illegally by issuing the suspension order. — File pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 21 — The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd today successfully contested Putrajaya’s three-month suspension of its two publications, after the High Court here quashed the Home Ministry order issued over reports on 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB).

High Court Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad ruled that the Home Ministry acted irrationally and illegally by issuing the suspension order, also ruling that the latter had breached procedural fairness when issuing a show-cause letter.

Asmabi ruled that the ministry’s suspension order be quashed and said damages will be awarded to The Edge after assessment.

“The conclusion, on totality of evidence before the court and relevant law and as discussed earlier, I am satisfied that the decision of the respondent in this case had suffered or is tainted with illegality,” she said when delivering her decision at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

Asmabi said the Home Ministry’s suspension was made ultra vires or beyond the powers granted under Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses Publications Act (PPPA). Read more