In the short time since I posted, I have tried to advance economic and social inclusion.
Since July 8, I have only posted my stock portfolio. I invested in these companies solely on the basis that these stocks appear to have price and volume momentum, based purely on a mathematical algorithm developed recently by us.
I have stopped writing in this blog and you may now view my portfolio updates in www.theedgemarkets.com. Enjoy!
My Say by Tong Kooi Ong (The Edge issue Feb 10-16, 2014)
On Oct 7, 2013, I wrote in the Forum pages about the need to reject
corporate kings working hand in hand with political elite to stop competition
and argued that we should instead be pushing for fair competition and economic
When the private sector is allowed to operate freely and
competitively, the people and the nation benefit from greater efficiency,
innovation, lower costs and superior products and services.
An example I used was the application by The Edge Communications
Sdn Bhd for a publishing permit to print a general daily newspaper called FZ
On Aug 20, 2013, the Home Ministry (KDN) approved the
licence. But one week later on Aug 28, we received another
letter from the Ministry saying that the license approved just over a week earlier was
now “deferred”. No reason was given and neither was there any
indication for how long.
I believe I know the reason and explained it in my column
on Oct 7 last year.
Two months later, we wrote to the Ministry for an explanation.
We did not receive any response.
On Nov 19, our lawyers filed an application for judicial review and the affidavit in support. In other words, we asked the
Court to decide on the legality of the actions taken by the Ministry.
On the morning of Feb 5, 2014, The Edge’s application
for leave to commence judicial review proceedings was heard before Justice Datuk
Zaleha Yusof. The Attorney General's Chambers did not object and leave
In the afternoon, The Edge received a letter from the ministry
saying that the FZ Daily licence has been REVOKED. The letter was dated Jan 21, 2014. Again, no reason was given.
The Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 was amended in
2012 on the prime minister’s expressed desire for greater press
freedom. After all, Malaysia prides itself on being a beacon for democracy and a
global voice for moderation. And freedom of the press is integral to
any democratic and free society.
Under Section 13 of the Act, the minister can revoke a
printing permit if the said publication contains anything that is prejudicial
to public order or national security. But since FZ Daily never even had the
opportunity to go to print, the decision to revoke the permit could not have
been made under this section of the Act.
Section 6 (2) is the only other option for the revocation of a
printing permit issued by KDN. This section states “The Minister may at any
time revoke or suspend a permit for any period he considers desirable”.
I do not believe the law intends to give any one person such
absolute discretion. It would contradict the democratic values and principles
we so proudly proclaim to have. We must expect that in any fair
and just society, there will be reasonable grounds for a particular action
taken by the authority.
But what reasonable grounds could there have been for the ministry to approve, defer and then revoke the permit for FZ Daily before the
first copy even hit the stands?
To say I am intrigued by this whole affair is an understatement. But
what else is there to say in this MY SAY?
Chronology of events
Edge applies for a permit for Fz Daily
Oct 31 Kementerian Dalam Negeri (KDN) asks for a
revised mock-up and printer’s licence
Nov 1 The Edge
supplies the mock-up
Nov 2 The
Edge faxes a copy of printer’s licence to KDN
Nov 9 KDN
confirms the application is being processed
Aug 20 KDN
grants a one-year approval and asks for payment of licence fee
Aug 22 The
Edge makes a payment of RM2,000 to KDN
Aug 28 KDN “defers”
the license approved
Oct 31 The
Edge writes to KDN for an explanation
Nov 19 The law firm representing The Edge - Raja
Daryl and Loh - files an application for judicial review and an affidavit in support
Nov 25 Hearing date fixed for Feb 5, 2014, before
Yang Arif Datuk Zaleha Yusof for leave to seek judicial review
Dec 9 Cause papers are served on the Attorney
Feb 5(am) The
Edge’s application for leave to commence judicial review proceedings is heard
before Justice Zaleha. The AG's Chambers did not object.Leave is granted.
Feb 5(pm) KDN
licence for Fz Daily dated Aug 20, 2013, has been revoked. See KDN letter