Highlight: Fz granted judicial review against revocation of licence

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Last Updated: 11:01pm, May 06, 2014

KUALA LUMPUR (May 6):  Fz.com won another battle today in its efforts to obtain a print licence when the High Court granted its judicial review application to challenge the Home Ministry’s revocation of Fz Daily’s print licence.

Justice Datuk Zaleha Yusof granted The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd (the applicant) leave this morning, without any objection from Federal Counsel Aida Adha Abu Bakar.

Raja Elaine Soraya represented the applicants.

Zaleha also allowed this application to be consolidated with The Edge Communication’s earlier application for judicial review when the Home Ministry first suspended the licence of Fz Daily.

The Judge has fixed this matter for case management on June 4.

The Home Ministry and The Edge Communications which runs the Fz.com news portal have been in a tussle over the latter’s efforts to launch a daily – with the Ministry blowing hot and cold over approving the permit.

The Ministry first granted a one-year approval on Aug 20, 2013 only to “defer” it a week later on Aug 28.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi even told Parliament that Fz Daily’s licence was not granted as the present portal tends to carry “sensational and controversial news”.

“The rejection of applications for newspapers entitled FZ Daily and Malaysia Kini is an early step towards controlling the flood of daily publications that may confuse the people if there are too many news being run by all sorts of newspapers.

“They are seen as inclining towards publishing sensational and controversial news to attract readers' interest," he said in a written reply on March 27 to Datuk Johari Abdul (PKR - Sungai Petani).

THE SAGA SO FAR

2012

Oct 19            The Edge applies for a permit for Fz Daily

Oct 31           The Home Ministry (KDN) asks for a revised mock-up and printer’s licence

Nov 1             The Edge supplies the mock-up

Nov 2             The Edge faxes a copy of printer’s licence to KDN

Nov 9             KDN confirms the application is being processed

2013Aug 20           KDN grants a one-year approval and asks for payment of licence fee

Aug 22           The Edge makes a payment of RM2,000 to KDN

Aug 28           KDN “defers” the license approved

Oct 31            The Edge writes to KDN for an explanation

Nov 19           Law firm representing The Edge - Raja Daryl and Loh - files an application for judicial     review and an affidavit in support

Nov 25            Hearing date fixed for Feb 5, 2014, before Justice Datuk Zaleha Yusof for  leave to seek judicial review

Dec 9             Cause papers are served on the Attorney General’s Chambers

2014

Feb 5 (am)     The Edge’s application for leave to commence judicial review proceedings is heard before Justice Zaleha. The AG's Chambers did not object.  Leave is granted.

Feb 5 (pm)      KDN letter arrives.  The licence for Fz Daily dated Aug 20, 2013, has been revoked.

For more stories, go to www.fz.com, the website for freedom of expression and fairness in articulation.