Malaysia's High Court dismisses application by The Edge for stay order on suspension

The Edge Financial Daily and The Edge Weekly.
The Edge Financial Daily and The Edge Weekly.PHOTO: THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

KUALA LUMPUR - The Kuala Lumpur High Court on Friday dismissed an application by The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd for a stay of the three-month suspension order against its two publications.

The publisher said it was disappointed with the court's decision but would not appeal against it.

Senior Federal Counsel Alice Loke Yee Ching, who appeared for the Home Minister, said the publisher failed to convince Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad that the suspension would harm its credibility.

 “There is no irreparable harm that they have shown that they will suffer if stay is not granted," she told reporters.

She also said the court agreed with the ministry's submission that if the company won subsequently in the suit it had filed against the suspension , it would be vindicated and would also be compensated because it had claimed damages.

The Edge had applied for a stay of the suspension order pending the disposal of the substantive judicial review to quash it.

"We are disappointed and gravely concerned with the Court’s decision today in dismissing our application for a stay of the suspension of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily because it effectively means that we will now be deprived of the full benefit of the remedy of judicial review which has been fixed for hearing on September 7, 2015,'' said a statement from The Edge Media Group. 

"Even if we were to subsequently succeed in quashing the decision to suspend our Publication Permits, it will now be practically meaningless because most if not all of the period of suspension would have elapsed."

The Home Minister, in a letter dated July 23, notified the company of the suspension of the publishing permits of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily due to its articles on troubled state investment firm, 1Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB), which were deemed to be detrimental to public order, security and national interest.

The Home Minister had asked the court to reject the stay, saying that the suspension was merely for three months while the publisher argued that it wanted to protect and prevent the loss of fundamental liberties guaranteed under the Federal Constitution.

"We are also disappointed that no reasons have been given by the Respondents as to how or why our articles on 1 Malaysia Development Bhd (1MDB) could be said to be prejudicial to or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion or be prejudicial to public interest or national interest because no affidavit was filed by the Respondents in resisting our application for a stay,'' said the media group.

"We however respect the decision of the Court and will not be appealing against it. Together with our lawyers, we will instead focus on preparing for the September 7, 2015 hearing of the judicial review of the Malaysian Home Ministry's decision."