By The Vibes
The high court here today overturned the government’s ban on the Gay is OK! A Christian Perspective book.
This comes after justice Datuk Noorin Badaruddin allowed a legal challenge to the government’s prohibition of the book, according to a Malaysiakini report.
Lawyer Michael Cheah was quoted as saying that Noorin allowed the judicial review application filed by his clients – book author Ngeo Boon Lun and publisher Gerakbudaya Enterprise.
He said the court had also ordered the respondents, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin and the government to pay costs of RM5,000.
“With today’s order, the book can technically be sold again in the Malaysian market.”
On January 26, the court had set today for the decision on the judicial review application.
On December 18, 2020, the Home Ministry had gazetted a prohibition order on two publications, titled Gay is OK! A Christian Perspective and Peichi under section 7(1) of the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984, effective November 27, 2020, and December 15, 2020 respectively.
In a report by Bernama, the ministry’s chief secretary Datuk Wan Ahmad Dahlan Abdul Aziz said it is absolutely prohibited to print, import, produce, reproduce, publish, sell, circulate, distribute or own these publications in the country.
On February 17, last year, Ngeo and Gerakbudaya Enterprise filed the judicial review leave application to quash the prohibition order, claiming that the ban was irrational and violated their freedom of speech as no inappropriate incidents were triggered by the book since it was published in 2013.
However, on November 1, Hamzah told the court that the book could disrupt public order as it promotes homosexuality.
Hamzah, in his affidavit to oppose the judicial review application by the two applicants, said the contents of the book has a tendency to incite the people to hold mass protests and subsequently create chaos.
The author and publisher of the book then received the green-light from the court on March 30 last year to proceed with their legal challenge over the banning of the book.