KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 ― The Home Ministry has appealed the court decision reversing its three-month ban on two publications from The Edge Media Group over reports on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), The Star Online reported today.
The Star Online cited government lawyer Alice Loke as confirming the appeal against the High Court ruling in favour of publisher The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd.
The senior federal counsel also reportedly said the Attorney-General’s Chambers has filed for a stay of the court decision until the appeal is concluded.
If the courts allow the stay application, The Edge would not be able to resume printing its two publications until the disposal of the appeal.
On Monday, the Kuala Lumpur High Court quashed the Home Ministry’s three-month suspension order on The Edge Financial Daily and The Edge Weekly over 1MDB reports.
High Court Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad had 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 to the publisher.
Asmabi had said the Home Ministry's suspension order was made ultra vires or beyond the powers granted under Section 7(1) of the Printing Presses Publications Act (PPPA), also ruling that natural justice was breached as The Edge was not given an opportunity to be heard in relation to Section 7(1).
The suspension order came three weeks after Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced on July 1 that a show-cause letter had been issued to The Edge for publishing what the government deemed to be unverified news on debt-laden 1MDB.
Among other things, Asmabi had said that Zahid was himself "in doubt" on whether The Edge had published its articles by relying on allegedly unverified information on online news portals, especially Sarawak Report.
In the legal challenge filed by The Edge, the Home Minister and the Home Ministry’s secretary-general are named as respondents.
The three-month printing suspension was set to end on October 27.