Malaysia news portal wins right to start newspaper

October 03, 2012
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KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia – An online news portal banned by the government from publishing a newspaper won a key court victory Monday (October 1st). The judges overturned the ban, in what the site's lawyer called a "landmark case", AFP reported.

Over the years, the independent portal Malaysiakini has become a leading source of information in Malaysia, where major newspapers and broadcasters are largely government-linked.

On Monday, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled the government had not acted within its power, and that its refusal to grant Malaysiakini a printing permit was "unreasonable", said Edmund Bon, who represented the online portal. "It will open the floodgates because the court has recognised that the granting of a permit is a right, not a privilege, as the government has said," he told AFP.

The government, which issued the ban two years ago, can appeal the ruling.

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