THE Court of Appeal today quashed a Home Ministry order banning four books authored by novelist Mohd Faizal Musa, 43, whose pen name is Faisal Tehrani.
A three-man panel comprising Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Ahmadi Asnawi and Zaleha Yusof found that the order issued on February 12, 2015, was not in accordance with Section 7 (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
Today’s judgement was delivered by Justice Zaleha, who said the order banning the books was a restriction of Faizal’s constitutional right of freedom of speech.
“Although admittedly the right is not absolute, we agree with the learned counsel for the appellant (Faizal) that the court must nonetheless give primacy to it,” she said.
She said if certain pages of the four books were found to offend Section 7 (1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act, the Act allowed for the removal of the pages.
“As such, the prohibition of the whole four books, in our considered view, is a very drastic act, irrational, unreasonable, disproportionate and tainted with procedural impropriety,” she said.