Immigration Dept can impose travel ban against those who shamed Malaysia

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Source: The Malaysian Insider

The Immigration Department says it has the right to restrict Malaysians who has shamed the country from travelling abroad. – The Malaysian Insider filepic, October 18, 2015.

The Immigration Department will ban those who have disgraced the nation and deemed as a threat to the national security from leaving the country, its director-general Datuk Seri Mustafa Ibrahim said.

He said the department had powers to blacklist such individuals, reported The Star today.

“We are also in the verge of blacklisting those who are believed to be involved in human trafficking and other crimes,” the newspaper quoted him saying at a press conference after launching the East Coast shooting training programme yesterday.

Mustafa said these individuals should not blame the department and pretend to be surprised if their passports were blacklisted as they knew the reason.

“The department does not simply blacklist anyone’s passports as it wishes,” Mustafa was reported as saying.

Petaling Jaya Utara MP Tony Pua has filed a challenge against Mustafa after he was stopped from leaving the country on July 22.

Mustafa had also refused to reply to queries by Pua’s lawyer why he was banned from travelling overseas.

Pua has now obtained leave in the High Court to challenge the travel ban and a hearing is scheduled before judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad.

Pua, who filed the action in August, wants the court to declare unlawful the order issued by the Immigration Department.

The DAP national publicity chief is also seeking damages for losses suffered following the travel restriction.

Pua said the decision was arbitrary as he had not been given prior notice, unreasonable, unfair, a wrongful exercise of discretion and tainted with bad faith.

He said since his passport was valid until 2020, he should be able to travel unhindered.

Pua, who has been critical of 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB), was stopped by immigration authorities from leaving the country at the low-cost carrier terminal.

He was to fly to Yogyakarta, Indonesia, for work purposes. – October 18, 2015.