High Court lifts ban order on G25 book

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here today lifted the ban on G25’s book, “Breaking Silence: Voices of Moderation – Islam in a Constitutional Democracy”.

Judge Nordin Hassan made the decision after allowing a judicial review application filed by the group to challenge the ban and set aside the then-home minister’s decision on the matter.

Nordin said the minister must show the basis of the decision to ban the book, as stated in the order.

“It was not mentioned in the affidavit of the minister, except that they relied on the opinion of Jakim,” he said, referring to the Malaysian Islamic Development Department.

The judicial review application was filed in October 2017 by five G25 members: the group’s spokesman Noor Farida Mohd Ariffin, Zainuddeen Abdul Bahari, Mohd Sheriff Mohd Kessim, Latifah Osman Merican and Dr Asma Abdullah.

The five named then-home minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi as the respondent.

On Jan 9 last year, G25 was granted leave to apply for a judicial review of the ban on the book.

The G25 members, represented by lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, sought a certiorari under Order 53, Rule 8 (2) of the Rules of Court 2012 to nullify the ban order, dated July 27, 2017, which was signed by the respondent.

The book, published in December 2015, was declared illegal by the home ministry on July 27, 2017.

Zahid was represented by senior federal counsel Jamilah Jamil.