The Attorney General’s Chambers has objected to Malaysiakini's application to challenge the constitutionality of the Anti-Fake News Act 2018 (AFN) at the Kuala Lumpur High Court today.
This was revealed by Malaysiakini's lawyers N Surendran and Latheefa Koya.
The court date today was originally fixed for hearing of leave.
Surendran said it was a disgraceful act on the part of the AGC to object to the challenge.
"To our surprise the AGC is objecting to our leave application. I am appalled... I cannot believe this, as the act is clearly oppressive and was passed by the previous government.
"The oppressive act cannot be saved, it would have to be struck down as it goes against Articles 5, 8 and 10 of the Federal Constitution.
"The Harapan government had promised to repeal the act if it wins," he said.
Surendran further called on the AGC to withdraw its objection before the hearing of leave, which Justice Azizah Nawawi fixed May 21.
When asked what the AGC's objection was, the lawyer said it indicated "special circumstances," but did not provide any further clarification.
On Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad stating in a televised address yesterday that the government would clearly define 'fake news', Surendran stressed that Harapan must keep its promise to repeal the AFN.
Senior federal counsel Maisarah Jauhari appeared for the Home Ministry and government.
It was reported on April 27, that Malaysiakini named the Home Ministry and the Malaysian government as respondents for its constitutional challenge against the AFN.
The portal is seeking leave for a declaration that the AFN is in violation of Articles 5 and 10(1) of the Federal Constitution, read together with Article 8, and should be declared null and void.
Article 5 concerns personal liberty, while Article 10(1) pertains to freedom of speech.
Malaysiakini is also seeking a mandamus to compel the court to direct the Home Ministry to revoke the law, which was gazetted on April 11 this year.