KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today dismissed a judicial review application by novelist Faisal Tehrani to challenge the ban order issued by the home minister over the publication of his four books for allegedly spreading Syiah teachings.
In the ruling, Judge Hanipah Farikullah said the home minister had not acted beyond his power over his decision to ban the books.
Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, representing the home minister, told the media that the judge had also held that the ban order was reasonable and ordered Faisal Tehrani to pay costs of RM5,000 to the home minister.
Faisal Tehrani, whose real name is Mohd Faizal Musa, filed the application on June 29 last year seeking an order to set aside the ban issued by the home minister against his four books under the Printing Presses and Publications (Control of Undesirable Publications) Order.
The books are “Sebongkah Batu di Kuala Berang” published by PTS Litera Utama Sdn Bhd; “Karbala” published by Abeerden Books World and “Tiga Kali Seminggu” and “Ingin Jadi Nasrallah” published by Al-Ameen Serve Holdings Sdn Bhd.
Mohd Faizal also sought a declaration that the order, which was made on Feb 12, 2015, was null and void as it was contrary to Article 8(1) and Article 10 (1)(a) of the Federal Constitution.
Mohd Faizal, a research fellow at a public university, also asked for a declaration that the order imposed on his books was irrational and ultra vires as it breached Section 7 of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984.
He claimed the order was issued on the grounds that his four books were likely to be prejudicial to public order and safety, and he only learned about it after reading a news report on May 5, 2015.
Mohd Faizal said that on Dec 3, 2013, he received a letter from the Home Ministry stating that the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) had certified the ban against his four books.
The Home Ministry had banned four books authored by the controversial novelist as they were found to have contained Syiah elements and contravened the teachings of the Sunnah Wal Jamaah.