Court overturns ban on pro-Sarawak rights group

Source: The Malay Mail Online

SAPA president Lina Soo says the people of Sarawak have every right to speak if they feel that MA63 conditions have been violated on October 30, 2015. ― Picture by Sulok Tawie

KUCHING, Oct 30 ― The High Court today reversed the home ministry’s decision to ban a local civil society group, nearly a year after the pro-Sarawak rights movement was declared illegal by Putrajaya.

Datuk Rhodzarian Bujang ruled that the ministry’s decision to ban the Sarawak Association of Peoples’ Aspirations (SAPA) was irrational, illegal, unconstitutional and without basis.

“As of today, SAPA is no longer an illegal society,” the group’s counsel Dominique Ng Kim Ho told reporters after the judge made her ruling in chambers.

Ng said the judge agreed with his arguments that SAPA was not given the chance to respond to allegations made against them before the ministry declared that it was illegal on November 14 last year.

He added that five out of the nine police reports lodged against the group had nothing to do with a public forum organised by SAPA, where a panel speaker had allegedly made seditious remarks. Read more