Mkini wins right over print licence

The Kuala Lumpur High Court has quashed the government's decision to disallow a publishing permit to Mkini Dotcom, which operates the Malaysiakini news portal.

Mkini Dotcom had applied for the permit to publish Malaysiakini two years earlier but the application was rejected in August 2010.

"The High Court ruled that the home ministry had no basis to reject our application for a permit. The government may appeal the decision, but we will still continue efforts to get the print licence," Mkini Dotcom chief executive officer Premesh Chandran told A+M.

"The decision affects the right of the plaintiff to the right of freedom of expression, which also includes the right to a permit, and it is a fundamental liberty enshrined in the constitution. Hence, the court allows the application for a certiorari (to quash) the decision of the respondents (Home Ministry) and the applicant needs to submit its letter to the ministry," judge Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim was quoted in a report by Malaysiakini portal.

Chandran told A+M he hopes to be in print as soon as Mkini acquires the print licence.

Titled Malaysiakini, the English daily will be sold at RM1 and will target mainstream advertisers as a source of revenue.