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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12, 2015:

The High Court will decide on Friday for the stay application of the three-month suspension order issued to The Edge and The Edge Financial Daily pending the disposal of the judicial review application.

High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) Justice Datuk Asmabi Mohamad fixed the date in the chambers today after hearing submissions from the plaintiff and respondent.

In the written submission, senior federal counsel Alice Loke Yee Ching argued that the applicant must prove irreparable harm in the absence of stay.

Other grounds submitted by Loke stated that there were no special circumstances warranting a stay.

“The harm should the stay be granted outweighs the harm that would result from its refusal.

“The public interest consideration is a compelling factor that weighs against the granting of the stay and the suspension order was only for three months,” she said, adding that the applicant had estimated the possible loss at RM14 million for the period.

In the application of stay submitted by The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd, two reasons were brought forward before the court on the grounds of negative perception on the freedom of press in Malaysia, credibility of the applicant and also for pecuniary reason.

Loke represented the defendants — the Home Ministry’s secretary-general and the ministry itself, while lawyers Darryl Goon, Raja Eileen Suraya Raja Aman and Joni Jacqueline Benedict appeared for The Edge media group.

The Home Ministry suspended the publishing permits of the financial publications for three months effective from July 27.

The suspension order was issued by the ministry following the publications’ reports on 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) that were “prejudicial or likely to be prejudicial to public order, security or likely to alarm public opinion”.

On July 27, The Edge through law firm Raja, Darryl and Loh Advocates and Solicitors filed a judicial review application seeking to quash the ministry’s three-month suspension order.

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