KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court here today rejected Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd’s application to challenge the Anti-Fake News Act 2018, ruling that the company’s rights have not been affected as it has not been charged with an offence under the act.
Judge Datuk Azizah Nawawi made the decision in her chambers after allowing a preliminary objection by the Attorney-General’s Chambers against Mkini Dotcom’s application for leave for judicial review to challenge the Anti-Fake News Act 2018.
Azizah in her judgment said it was common ground that the applicant (Mkini Dotcom), which owns and operates an online portal known as, Malaysia Kini, had not been charged with an offence under the Anti-Fake News Act 2018.
Therefore, the issue here is whether the application, a preemptive move by the applicant to strike down the Act, is premature and renders the application without the required locus standi, she said.
“In this case, since the applicant has not been charged with any offence under the Anti-Fake News Act 2018, his rights have not been affected. His rights will only be affected if he is charged under the said Act, and only in such a situation can he challenge the constitutionality of the said Act.
“To allow the application at this stage will open the floodgate for any spirited litigant to simply challenge the constitutionality of a law that he does not like,” she said adding that the applicant had no locus standi as this challenge was premature.
She dismissed the application with costs of RM5,000.
Senior Federal Counsel Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud representing the government and Home Minister as respondents while counsel N. Surendran and Latheefa Koya acted for Mkini Dotcom.
Mkini Dotcom filed the application on April 27, seeking a declaration that the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 was null and void as it violated Article 5(1) and Article 10(1) of the Federal Constitution.
Article 5 relates to liberty of the individual while Article 10(1) pertained to freedom of speech.
Surendran told reporters that Mkini would file an appeal against the ruling as soon as possible. – BERNAMA