Owners of comedy club withdraw challenge against purported DBKL blacklist as it does not exist

PETALING JAYA: The two owners of Crackhouse Comedy Club have withdrawn their legal challenge over an alleged blacklist against the duo by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

The alleged blacklist prohibits the two from registering any business in Kuala Lumpur for life.

Lawyer Pravin Mahentharan, who represented Mohamad Rizal Johan Van Geyzel and Shankar R Santhiram, informed the Kuala Lumpur High Court on Wednesday (Aug 23) morning that they found out that DBKL hasn't imposed a blacklist on the duo but only withdrawn the club's permit.

The hearing of the judicial review over the alleged blacklist that came on the heels of a controversial stand-up routine at the club in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, in the middle of last year, was scheduled for today.

The routine involved comedian Siti Nuramira Abdullah, 26, who was charged with insulting Islam by admitting she is Muslim and memorised 15 juz of the Quran before discarding her tudung and baju kurung on June 4 last year.

She has since been fined RM8,000 for the incident.

During open court proceedings before judge Amarjeet Singh, Pravin explained that they had spoken to DBKL in July and found out that there was never such a blacklist, and that the authorities had merely taken back Crackhouse Comedy Club’s permit.

A legal representative for DBKL and its mayor confirmed with Amarjeet on what had transpired.

Amarjeet then struck out the judicial review and made no order on costs.

This was contrary to then deputy federal territories minister Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias' statement Aug 17 last year claiming DBKL had decided to "blacklist the owner of the club from registering a business licence in Kuala Lumpur for life".

Following Jalaluddin's statement, Mohamad Rizal and Shankar filed a judicial review application to challenge the ban on the grounds that it was unconstitutional.

Mohamad Rizal was also charged with allegedly creating and initiating the distribution of videos that touch on racial sensitivity via social media between July 4 and 6, 2022.

On July 7 this year, the court fined Rizal RM8,000, following his guilty plea to one of the three charges under Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act 1998.

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