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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Print versions of Mkini, FZ would 'confuse people'

News portals Malaysiakini and FZ.com both had their newspaper permits rejected in order to avoid the public "being confused" by "too many" newspapers flooding the marketplace, home minister said.

In a written answer to Johari Abdul (PKR-Sungai Petani) in Parliament on Tuesday, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the number of newspapers allowed publication "are enough for the number of readers in the country at this time."

He also claimed that Malaysiakini and FZ.com had the "tendency" to publish "sensational and controversial news" in order to attract public attention.

The Court of Appeal last year upheld a High Court decision to allow a judicial review by Malaysiakini against the ministry's decision to reject Malaysiakini's permit.

FZ.com, despite initially being granted a printing permit, had their licence retracted by the ministry earlier this year.

The ministry said that the rejection of the permits was “early action” taken by the authorities.

The High Court quashed the ministry’s rejection of a permit forMalaysiakini in October 2012, and the Appellate Court rejectedthe ministry’s appeal in October last year.

Malaysiakini has stated its intention to apply for a printing permit again following the court ruling.

FZ.com meanwhile is pursuing a judicial review regarding the retraction of its printing licence.

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